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From Law to Grace » Miscellaneous

MOMM: The Death of a Beloved Teacher

The look on his face is classic Mr. Mimms.  I should know.  I had seen that look hundreds of times before I summoned the courage to snap this candid photo for our high school yearbook.  I can only imagine what he was thinking! As I look at this picture that I took over 25 years ago, I fondly remember a man who had such a profound influence on my life and the lives of countless others.  Hopefully for the better, I am the writer I am today in large part because of him.  Louie Mimms – affectionately referred to by his students at Lake Placid (FL) High School as MOMM – “Mean Old Mister Mimms – was anything but mean.  Although in retrospect, he did seem a little old (62) to a bunch of 16 and 17-year-old high school kids back in the early … Read entire article »

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Uncategorized

Virginia Baptists & Religious Liberty

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  First Amendment to the United States Constitution One of America’s greatest freedoms perhaps has spawned more controversy than all of our country’s other freedoms combined.  What makes the First Amendment ripe for disagreement and debate has more to do with what it does not say than for what it does.  Let me demonstrate. After thousands of readings — from middle school social studies classes to law school to writing this post — I have looked in vain for the words “separation of church and state” in the body … Read entire article »

Filed under: Freedom of Religion, Miscellaneous

Winning Friends In the SBC & Beyond

“If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”  Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States It’s amazing what influence you can have with those around you, especially those whom you call “friends.”  Even a brief, friendly encounter with someone who you have never met before can have a significant influence on your future actions.  Arm twisting and cajoling, in addition to feigned friendship, simply cannot compete with the real thing when it comes to winning people to your cause.  If you want to truly “win friends and influence people,” you must be personally involved with the people you are trying to influence. One of the most vivid examples of this principle occurred in my life in May of 2002.  In January of that same year, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Southern Baptist Convention

Golf In The Desert: 3 Out Of 4 Ain’t Bad!

On Friday, I ventured out to Desert Lakes Golf Course in Alamogordo, NM to play golf.  Surrounded by the Sacramento Mountains to our east and White Sands National Monument to our west, the sky was a cloudless blue and the breeze was blowing just right.  I haven’t picked up my clubs in two years, but I finally took the time to play a round of golf.  And what do you know, I shot a 60!  Now, before you start questioning my fantastic number, you would do well to remember that Baptist pastors (and attorneys) are famous for  ”fudging” numbers, whether our golf score, our Sunday attendance records, or our annual church profile. Our fearsome foursome — Chuck, Vern, our new Student Pastor Jon, and myself — all shot within six strokes of each other.  Not too … Read entire article »

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Uncategorized

Reaching A Verdict: My Day As A Juror

“We, the jury, find the defendant, NOT GUILTY.”  As the foreperson for the jury, I had the responsibility to read the unanimous verdict that my fellow jurors and I had arrived at after deliberating behind closed doors for almost an hour .  The defendant, standing next to his attorney, was obviously relieved and his family began to shed tears of joy.  An ordeal that began for this man five months prior, with his arrest for driving under the influence of drugs, ended when a jury of his peers found him not guilty of the crime for which he had been charged. My involvement in the case really began when I received a jury summons in March, the same month that the defendant was arrested.  Little did either of us know that our paths would cross on … Read entire article »

Filed under: Freedoms, Miscellaneous