There’s no place like home….

Life in our world came back to a screeching halt today. You see, today was my first day back at work after Steph and I spent all last week in Sedona, Arizona helping her parents celebrate their 50th anniversary. We flew out last Friday and came back about midnight this past Friday and I think that we may have actually seen every red rock there was in the Sedona area.
Monday, we made the trip up northern Arizona to the Grand Canyon and met up with Erika Sitton from LMBC. She is at the Grand Canyon in the mission field for workers and tourists there. For the first 15-20 minutes, the canyon is so amazing that it takes your breath away. After about 20 minutes, its just a hole in the ground a long way to the bottom. We got kind of numb to it, and to the numerous red rocks in Sedona also. Don’t get me wrong, they were both spectacular, but they all start to seem alike and we get used to seeing them over and over and over again. We got to be numb to them because we experienced them time and time again.
Wednesday night, I am teaching the youth at LMBC on the subject of sin and forgiveness. While I was preparing for the topic, I realized that sin is like those rocks and the hole in the ground. We have become numb to it. We are bombarded with sin every day through the internet, through media, radio, television, etc. We are around it so much, that society is starting to accept it. Society is starting to say its ok to have bad language and nudity on television and movies. Society is making homosexuality glamorous. The more we see sin, the more we are becoming numb to it.
I am as guilty of it as anyone. After all, when was the last time that you walked out of a movie theater because of the language or nudity that you didn’t know was there when going in. I don’t think I have ever left a movie for any reason. I have accepted it because I am so used to seeing it at the movie theaters.
I cannot control what movies play in the theaters or what my coworkers say and do. I can, however, control the movies that I watch at home and I can control what I watch on television. I cannot control what Stephanie says and does but I am very blessed in the fact that I don’t have to worry about that. She and I have the same ideas and hold each other accountable. We can only control what we say and do in our household.

It is true what Dorothy said….”There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home.”

Dear God,
Thank You for the beauty of Arizona that You allowed us to experience. Thank You for the family that we were able to share it with and the memories that we made while we were there. Help me to know what You are teaching me through our trip and the message that You have given me for our youth. Help me to be aware of sin in our world and not to be a contributing factor either through my own actions or my own acceptance.



Be careful what you wish for….

I read a lot of webpages and a lot of blogs from youth pastors, youth workers and leaders so that I can learn from their successes, their failures and their experiences. Today, one of the Youth Pastors that I follow, Brad Cooper, he Anderson Campus Student Pastor at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC., posted on twitter that today was the Friday to ask him anything.

Well, I brought it with both barrels loaded and asked one of the difficult questions on my mind right now…

“How do you deal with giving your messages to a group of people that seem to not care, not be interested, pulling out their cell phones and totally missing God and what He is saying through you?”

I see this from time to time and more and more frequently now that we are getting closer to the end of the school year. It happens to all of the speakers in the main service and in the youth service. Not just when I have the opportunity to teach.

Brad gave a great response to my question that I am going to print out and put up as a reminder of who I am bringing the message for….

“Bcoop – THIS IS A GREAT QUESTION… it is one i’ve struggled through… Then God allowed me to understand something… IM NOT PREACHING FOR THEM… I’m Preaching for HIM… im compelled to SHARE THE GOSPEL based on how it has impacted me.

This helps me avoid preaching harder w/ engaged crowds… and then just going through the motions w/ crowds that arent engaged… Again, my calling to preach isnt based on the response of the audience… but on the regeneration of my heart by my Savior… (the old testament prophets… John the Baptist… Jesus… Paul…. & the rest of the Apostles are great Biblical examples of this)”

Thanks Brad. That is what I needed to hear.

You can check out Brad’s page at

Dear God;

Thank you for the youth pastors that you have brought into my life. Some of these I am building solid relationships with in order to learn as much as I can for the purpose that You have called me into. Small insights like Brad’s reply will stick with me forever and I will, (hopefully) not soon forget it during those times that I need a reminder of why I am doing youth ministry. It’s not for me, but it’s for Your glory. Help me to never lose sight of that.


An opportunity for Patience

For the record, I am not a patient person.

Those of you who know me, know how true this is. I want it my way, right away. I have the Burger King mentality when it comes to things that I am passionate about. I know what I want and like most people, when I know this, I don’t want to wait.

I have been warned about praying for patience. When you pray for patience, will God give you the patience that you desire or will He give you an opportunity to be patient? Several times in my life, when I have felt God wanting me to learn patience, 2 things have been commonly true that I often forget about. 1 – He doesn’t give me patience, He gives me that opportunity to be patient. 2 – The wait is always worth it.

I had to wait almost 6 years for God to teach me patience and bring Stephanie into my life. That wait for her, has far exceeded any expectations that I could have had. I had to wait for approval to buy our home. Every job that I have ever gotten has been “Ok we have several others to interview we will call you once we have made a decision.” I have had several huge opportunities to be patient.

I have also prayed for many years to know what God has planned for me in my life. Sure I have a job. I have been in the HVAC industry now for about 22 years so I guess you would call that a career and not a job, but I am still employed when a lot of others are not. This is what I do, not who I am or who I desire to be. I have always wanted to be someone that makes a difference in the lives of others and not someone who does basic planning and computer work.
Within the past 2 years, it has become very clear to me that God has a plan for Stephanie and me in youth ministry of some capacity. She has done an amazing job with the youth at LMBC in drama and I have built relationships, mentored and worked with the kids in other various ministry areas. I have also had numerous opportunities to teach during our high school and middle school services. So each week, God shows me that I am, where He has me, for these kids, that we really love to be with.
The impatient side of me tries to force the issue. “I know God wants me in youth ministry, now I just have to find that open door.” I found out that within 20 miles of my front door there are 43 Baptist churches alone. There are additional Baptist churches in the town of Rockmart just west of our home. All of the baptist churches (60 of them to be exact in these 2 areas) got a letter from me and my resume for any openings they may have or openings they may know of. I thought surely one or two would have something. I got 3 letters back undeliverable and one email from a church thanking me but basically said they would pass it on as they did not have anything presently. 1 reply out of 60.
Talk about realizing you are forcing the issue. I was shocked to say the least but just when reality was about to hit, a church in Fayetteville, GA contacted me after receiving my resume from the Georgia Baptist Association. They were not one of the 60 that I sent out, but God moved and showed me that He would be the one opening the door for us, not me. I am still praying about that opening but God hasn’t closed that door in Fayetteville, for us yet.
Lump in my frustration with finding a youth ministry opening, throw that in with our church being without a pastor and me and Steph were losing the desire to go on Sunday mornings, I was about ready to bail. I was eager and willing to just walk away and find a band aid to the problem instead of finding a solution.

Oh how things can change…

God moved. He moved through the one person that I so often listen to and unfortunately, don’t hear. He changed Stephanie’s heart and now she was the one encouraging me to hold on. She was the one reminding me that God is in control. Her passion for drama was coming back. Her love of our church, the youth, the people and the friends we have met there, was holding on waiting for God. She allowed God to move through her and change me.
I love our church. I love the people in our church both young and old. This was the first church that Stephanie and I found together and it is our home, where people know us as the team we are. 99 times out of 100 if you see one of us, you see the other and I love that! I had hoped that the first ministry position that I have would be here and who knows what the future holds, but for now, we are sticking with our beloved LMBC through this difficult time in the life of our church or until God opens that door for us and moves us elsewhere.
I may still be frustrated with the lengthy search for a pastor at LMBC but I have remembered that the leadership of our church is made up of great men of God who only want the best for our church. These men know the frustrations of the members and they have to deal with it, on a volunteer basis. I may not agree with every decision they make, but I will support them. I may not like the length of time it has taken to find an interim pastor or a candidate for pastor, but leadership is doing the right thing and seeking God’s will before their own and I will stand by them.
I am still knocking on doors, seeking to find the youth ministry opening that God has for me and Steph that is just around the corner, but for now, thanks to a great God moving through an incredible Godly woman, Stephanie, I am at peace being patient for now knowing that regardless of how much I want things to be “my way right away” God’s plan is in His timing, not Keith’s.

Dear God,
Thank you for the opportunities You have given me in my life. I am so not worthy of the blessings that You have given me but I am greatful. I know that You are in control and that only through You can I accomplish the plans that You have for me, in Your time, not my own. Help me to be patient and wait on You as I only want to do Your will and not my own. Help me to remember the times in my life when You needed me to be patient and blessed my life for doing so.



Last night, I had the opportunity to teach the youth at Focus. We are in the middle of a study on book of Acts and I was going to teach on chapters 8 & 9. These are 2 really powerful chapters in a power packed book of the Bible. All week long, I knew God was pointing me in the direction He wanted me to take last night.
He took me in a personal direction that I don’t know if it hit a home run or stepped on too many toes other than my own.
Worship was great. Danny and Greg did an awesome job even after the sound system failed at setup. Normally when I teach, I take some time just before we start and go off on my own to go over my notes again and pray before we start. With the sound system failing, I didn’t get that chance. However, we didn’t let that stop us. We used what we could get to work and they nailed it.
I started the night asking “Do you ever think about Heaven? What is going to look like, what we are going to do, will there be cars to get you from one side of heaven to another, who is there, who we will meet and hang out with……..and who isn’t there?

You could have heard a pin drop.

I went over the great commission and then led into Acts using it as proof that God will take away our excuses for sharing the gospel. He will
1 – Use any situation
2 – Put people in our path that need to hear the gospel
3 – Use anyone He chooses to spread His word

Then I really hit home and asked, “Do you ever think about Hell? Is it real? Is it really a lake of fire and does God really send people there? Who do you know is on the path leading to eternity in hell?” What about those people in Africa and remote places? I used the joshua project and talked about unreached people groups.

This is where it got to be personal and tough.

I asked them to think about the people in their lives that they know aren’t saved. Not those people in Africa, but the people across the hall at school, across the room in class, the people across the lunch table at school…the people across the dinner table at home.

Again, very quiet in that room.

I read Matthew 24 talking about the end of time and showed them that wars, false prophets, earthquakes, they are all talked about occurring in the end of time and I showed them that in the past 30 days, there have been over 450 earthquakes in the world from a magnitude of 2.0 to 7.2.

Then I asked them the final question. “Are we serious about our faith and our Christian walk or are we hear to socialize and have a good time?” If they were serious, I challenged them to take out their cell phones, and send a 4 word text to that person that they know isn’t saved and is on the path to eternity in hell without Christ.


This would have that person wondering what they need to talk about and would open the door for our youth to share the gospel.

Time is running out for those that we love and care about that don’t know Christ. The end of time could come in the next 100 years or in the next second. Scripture says Christ will come like a thief in the night.

Are you ready? If you’re not….then we need to talk!

**NOTE – As I was posting this to my site, I received a phone call from one of the guys who worked with me a few years ago. He informed me that another tech who I worked with and had gotten to be good friends with, passed away this weekend while in Minnesota at a training class. I don’t know how he was in his relationship with God. We never talked about it. Here I was saying I was a Christian and knowing he had heart problems and never talked about Christ to him. Time may be shorter than we all realize for those we know, those we are close to and even those that we work with.

Dear God, help us. Help us to be more serious in our walk, in our faith, in our trust in You. Help us to realize your command to go to all nations, including our workplace, our neighborhood, our dinner table, and spread Your word. Give us boldness, courage, and power to do Your will. Put those in our path that need to know You. Draw in to You, those we love and care for, those we pray for, and those who we want to be in Heaven with.