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Believing And Serving In Christ

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Quick Note

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 17:48:00 +0000

 I'm thinking about this sermon I'm writing on 1 John 4:7-19, and one of the key points in the passage is the affirmation that "No one has ever seen God". We have seen something though,  and what we've seen is important, and necessary.  Indeed,  the apostle appeals to what he has seen in the opening words of the epistle. If we haven't seen God, what then have we seen? 
1. We've seen the love Jesus gave all those around him. 
2. We've seen the love the Father had for us in that He has provided the atoning  sacrifice for our sins. 
3. We've seen the love of Christians for each other in the sharing of resources to meet physical and spiritual needs. 

Dear friends of the Lord,  and joint brothers and sisters in Christ,  to see God, people must first see love. 

Wisdom and Instruction

Fri, 19 May 2017 10:00:00 +0000

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. -- Proverbs 1:7
The verse posted above is one of those "classic verses" everyone learned at some point in their walk with God, at least on the churches where I grew up. The thing about this verse that always stands out to me is how little we consider the word fear when we consider God.

Fear is something we associate we mostly associate with negativity. We should certainly be afraid of God if we we refuse to obey Him, but we if we love Him, doesn't "Perfect love cast out all fear" (1 John 4:8)?

We experience fear of the Lord for a variety of reasons:
  • Past judgement by God is seen as a garauntee of future condemnation
  • Fear losing salvation because of some unknown sin
just to name a couple.
We fear God because we understand that we don't understand Him. His ways are not our ways, and that causes fear because our questions can not be assured of an answer. Fear and faith are the twin internal reactions to understanding that when it comes to God, we must trust something claiming to be from Him, and as Christians, that is the Bible. We must trust that the Bible is true, that it is sufficient, and that it is instructive in our understanding of God. Let's turn our fear into faith by considering the following:
We fear judgement because of our sins: We have faith that God's plan for us is to be with Him (Revelation 21:1-4).
We fear impotence because we are finite: We have faith that we are immovable from the hand of God (John 10:27-30).

When we know the Bible, we know the fear of the LORD. It's our place for wisdom and instruction. As I become a better Believer and Servant, the more my fear becomes faith through the encouragement of the Word.

A Psalm to Consider

Mon, 08 May 2017 14:22:00 +0000

I am suddenly struck by a scripture, and I want to share it.I'm always in the place this scripture describes, sometimes more than others.Psalm 131English Standard Version (ESV)I Have Calmed and Quieted My SoulA Song of Ascents. Of David.131 O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;    my eyes are not raised too high;I do not occupy myself with things    too great and too marvelous for me.2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,    like a weaned child with its mother;    like a weaned child is my soul within me.3 O Israel, hope in the Lord    from this time forth and forevermore.from: Bible GatewayThree verses long, it cuts deep.Some brief considerations:Something has happened to the Psalmist, a trauma. He compares himself to a weaned child with its mother. I've been around children freshly weaned. Sometimes they don't take to leaving their mother's breast very kindly. There's much grief and tears, but if the child is to grow, they have to leave their mother's milk. From that point forward, the sustainance they get from their mother is different. Deeper than physical provision, they can be still, and know that even though what once was will never be again, there's better things, bigger hope, more comfort coming from the One who loves them.When God takes the milk away, He's still there, as a mother with a weaned child. Holding us, comforting us, keeping our soul sustained.Don't understand where your money will come from - calm yourself.ISIS related terrorism got you worried - calm yourself.Prexisting condition keeping you from getting healthcare - calm yourself.God is still doing something even though you're not getting milk anymore.Let your cares be carried by the Lord![...]

Mostly Mealtimes...

Sun, 24 Apr 2016 06:34:00 +0000

Recently I asked a question on Facebook. My question was simple enough: How often do you think about a meal when you think about the last time you saw somebody? A lot of people responded that they did think of a meal when they last thought of someone. I grew up in a family who's week almost literally revolved around food. From Sunday morning dinner at Grandma's house, to the Wednesday night fish fry at Possum Hollow, our family was always looking for another meal.  The fish fry especially consumed my Grandpa and his brother's schedule. There was minnow trapping on Monday and Thursday. Then they had to fish on Tuesdays and Fridays, all so that on Wednesday night, between 40 and 60 people could gather and eat. People have to eat, so it figures that we would all eat together.I'm lead then to believe that God does some things on purpose, directly because He knows people, and He knows we like to eat too. He knows we remember special occasions by the food we eat, so He gave the Children of Israel a collection of feasts to keep, each with their meaning, each occurring in their own time. This weekend the Jews celebrate Passover, and it's that feast that I want to look at if only briefly.What if you were alive, as an Israelite, captive in Egypt when Moses came to lead the people out of Pharaoh's hand? What would you make of the commands to keep the Passover described in Exodus Chapter 12? First of all, it's a meal that is designed to separate the People of God from the Foreigner. God tells the people:43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. 45 No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. ... 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” Exodus 12:43-45; 47-49. God intends for this meal to be a meal where there is a clear distinction between God's People, and those who are not God's people. Ponder this for a moment as we listen to another one of God's commands for this special meal: "10 And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn." This meal has a special time, limited in duration. There are no leftovers from God's Passover! The People of God are given clear instruction about the time that the Passover takes place. He tells them the month the feast is in, he tells them the day the feast starts, and then He tells them duration of the feast. Six days of unleavened bread, and then, one evening only, lamb with the bread, and bitter herbs. There's no accidents here. All of this is for a reason. Ponder as if you were one of the Children of Israel, waiting to be delivered from Egypt. Now listen to this and consider what it could mean:  8 They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts...11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. Exodus 12:8, 9, 11 46 It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. Exodus 12:46  God commanded the People of God to eat the meal in a certain manner. None of this is by accident. There's nothing here done by chance or haphazardly. God has a certain way for doing this, and it's for a certain reason. He's wanting these people to remember the m[...]

Somethings are Very Hard to Do

Sun, 14 Jun 2015 13:00:00 +0000

It's hard to see outside of your own frame of reference. A book, written in 1884 as a bit of satire on Victorian English culture impressed this idea upon me. The book is called Flatland, and it tells the tale of A Square, and his struggles to bring the truth of the third dimension to his own society, one where only two dimensions are possible. One of the real major points of the book is to help you understand that trying to explain things that people haven't experienced is tricky, and mostly impossible. Gazing into eternity with our current bodies and minds is every bit as tricky as a sphere trying to tell a square what the third dimension is like. Of all the tricky things to grasp, the resurrection of Jesus is at the top. As Christians, we accept the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as truth, and the implication of that truth is that we too, will share in the same resurrection one day.Paul addresses how difficult this is to understand in 1 Corinthians 15. It was true then, and it's true now, some people don't believe in the resurrection They don't believe because they don't see how our bodies could get any better after being dead. They paint a sacrilegious picture of the resurrection that has no spiritual element. In reality they don't understand the Gospel, so they mock it instead. Let's increase our understanding by reading the following scripture in 1 Corinthians 15, starting with verse 35 (ESV)35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. 42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.We're moving from a physical place, to a spiritual one. It makes sense then, that our physical bodies would have to be replaced with a spiritual one. This spiritual body, if we are to use Jesus as our example, is strange. Apparently, he was able to move quickly, appearing in the middle of a group of people, seemingly at once. One of the crazy things is that even though scripture promises us that there are no more tears or sickness once we get this body, some things linger with us, or else Thomas would not have seen the nail-marks on Jesus' body. It seems as if the pain is taken away, but the work done in our physical bodies was left! It seems that physical things and physical actions and communicate to us spiritual things, and have spiritual consequences. Just as the holes in Jesus' body convinced Thomas of the realness of the resurrection of Christ, the Lord's[...]

Notes for Ephesians 2:1-10

Sun, 03 May 2015 22:00:00 +0000

This is part of a "homework" assignment from small group leadership training at my home church. We'll be starting a small group next fall. The assignment is two fold1. Observe a particular text, and discover the facts that are in that text.2. Formulate factual questions related to that textNotes for Ephesians 2:1-10.Text:EPHESIANS 2:1-10 (ESV)1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.1. Facts: This text contrasts who a group is, before they were forgiven, and after they were forgiven. People who live in this world are ultimately following "The prince of the power of the air". Everyone once upon a time, followed this prince. God has loved us though. We have been raised! Grace has saved us through our faith. Works do not save us, but we are saved to be God's workmanship, doing God's work. This work was made for us to do.2. Questions:How many groups can humanity be divided into, and how could we describe them, according to this passage?If we were once dead, what then made us alive? Who can be made alive?What is God waiting to show us? What makes faith special in God's eyes, according to this passage?If God doesn't save us by what we do, why is it important that we do good thing?What's the good thing you'll be doing this week? (final question)[...]


Sun, 08 Mar 2015 13:37:00 +0000

This is the Communion meditation for Highlands Church of Christ, given March 08, 2015.Usually Mr Peterson wore a sweater vest, with a tie underneath. He and his wife sat in the same pew every Sunday, about three rows from the front. It had to be an easy seat to get to, he couldn't move very well or very fast. When I knew Mr. Peterson, his left arm curled into a fist, and he held it close to his body. Sometime in the past, he'd had a stroke. He couldn't talk without a stutter, so he mainly communicated through facial expression, and usually there was a smile on his face. The struggle for Mr Peterson to talk, communicate, move, and interact was real. He also taught me an important lesson on thankfulness every Sunday he met with the church. He taught his lesson over time, and if things distracted you from the lesson, you might let out a snicker, or feel a little embarrassment, but slowly the lesson built. I'm going to share with you a lesson it took me six months, at least to learn.The first Sunday I remember Mr Peterson in Church, I remember because when he received the cup to take the Lord's Supper, he spoke the word "Hallelujah". As far as I can remember, he said it every week he met with the church. The only time I ever heard him say something clearly and without stuttering was to say "hallelujah" right after taking the cup. He never said it with a hesitation. Sometimes he said it softly, but mostly, his voiced boomed in the silent time that we had after cocmmunion: "Hallelujah".The word means "Praise God!" It's an expression given both as a command and declarative. "Praise God!" The Psalms especially use the phrase. When Mr Peterson said it, I knew I was learning something, but it took a while to really take. What I learned from him is that a thankful heart always finds a way to turn to God and thank Him for the blood of Christ. Let's read something from Hebrews 13:8-15 together:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.  11 For *xlthe bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.  12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.  13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.  14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.  15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.When we take the cup of communion, we take the same cup that Jesus called his Blood. Together, we come to the place this passage describes. Let's praise God together, and with thankful hearts take the cup, and offer the sacrifice of praise to God. Let our fruitful lips acknowledge the name of Jesus.[...]

"Watch Your Pole"

Sun, 11 Jan 2015 07:53:00 +0000

It's been over thirty years ago, but I can remember it just like it was yesterday. It was a day for a "first", the first time I went fishing with my Grandpa. By this time, even though I wasn't quite seven years old, I considered myself an experienced fisherman, able to take up the serious business of fishing for the fish fry my family put on every Wednesday, and during special occasions, like labor day. Tingling with excitement, we pulled up to Clark's Landing on Cocodrie Lake, and I asked my Grandpa a question:

"What's the biggest fish in here?"
In a thick accent caused by a full life in Central Louisiana, he answered
"Dars an ol' gar in der bigger'en you are!"
With wide eyes, my imagination took hold and I began to see the ol' gar down below waiting to snatch a finger. The overcast sky, and cooler temperature added to my anxiety. I kept watch on the water. After fishing for a couple of hours, we decided to call it a day. Normally, Grandpa caught "two or tree" dozen tasty white perch, but today only two fish hit the pot gut minnows he used for bait. I road along on the back seat of the boat, taking in the surroundings. Tupelo trees in the water formed a barrier, and the passageway through the water grew narrow. I began thinking about the gar again, and heard a noise behind me of something slipping. Turning, I gazed in horror as my fishing pole slipped off the side of the boat into the water.

"Grandpa!" I exclaimed "The gar got my pole, he pulled it into the water!"
Chuckling, he replied "Well padnah, sometime, you gotta watch yo pole."

I started learning an important lesson that day. It's hard to fish without the right equipment, but I let my worry distract me and I lost my pole as a result. Jesus called the first disciples to be "fishers of men", and it's equally important, if we're going to follow their example, for us to watch and make sure our equipment isn't lost. The most important equipment we have for fishing for men is the testimony of our faith acting in our life. If we allow the world to distract us, and if we take our eyes off the prize, it becomes easy for others to judge that we hold our faith cheap. If we want to save others, we have to listen to Paul's instruction to Timothy:

1 Timothy 4:16: "Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers."

We come to this table recognizing that we're at the tackle shop. It's time for us to get new tackle, to renew the covenant that cleanses us for sin, and to also equip our minds to deal with the stress of life. We go to church, fellowship at this meal, and in honesty and humility, admit to God and to each other that we lost our pole, or at least our bait. Once we're equipped, we're ready to fish again, and tell happier fishing stories next week.

Sermons I've Never Given.

Sun, 14 Dec 2014 17:00:00 +0000

I've got a series of sermons, partially written, that I've never given.
They're originally written to be given as part of a revival.
I first got the idea to write them when we lived in Orlando, and I was going pretty hard at BASIC. At the time, I was studying 1 John, and thought, "WOW, I could write five sermons from this book as a revival series!" I quickly hammered out the general ideas for all five sermons, then started writing outlines. The first two outlines came easy, I had to revise the third a few times, and I've not written the fourth or fifth. Every couple of months, I tell myself I need to finish it. I'm not in demand as a revival preacher right now, I don't even teach a Sunday school class, but I've always told myself that if I finish these lessons, I'll have done something.

I'll get started on that fourth sermon sooner or later, I've been having the itch to write it again. Just need to reread 1 John. That book always convicts and encourages me.

Still Believing and Serving in Christ.

Wed, 10 Dec 2014 03:21:00 +0000

This is a "I'm still here" post.
I don't know what else to call it.
I've been blogging about life, birds, ham radio, Jesus, philosophy, gardening, and lots of other stuff.
This was the first blog I started and I'm coming back to it because BASIC is an idea I have let and am letting permanently soak into me. It's an identity.
It's an identity I want to pass on to my kids too.
I have four now.
Four very precious daughters. Having daughters does things to a man. It's hard to explain.
If you have a daughter, and you are a man, you know what I'm talking about.
One of the things I'm doing to teach my kids to be BASIC is having them memorize a memory verse.
This week, our memory verse comes from Luke 18:14b (ESV) :
"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
This verse is part of a larger passage where Jesus talkes about a pharisee and a tax collector, and how their attitudes during prayer affected the outcome of their soul. The kids have to read the whole passage (I have 2 that can read it, and one that can listen) and memorize the 18:14b part. I'm trying to memorize as much of the whole passage as I can.
That's me, and what I'm doing to Be BASIC, how about you?

"By the way I thought that you would be there..."

Tue, 13 Jan 2009 05:19:00 +0000

Great lyrics!
Did I see you downtown Sunday? Maybe, probably not though. S'kay, cuz I can't make it every week either and I started this work!
Strange eh?

I'll give you strange: So the fishmobile needs a new alternator belt right. It squeeks when it drives, and makes people go crazy. Mainly it could lead to a broken alternator belt, or even a broken alternator. gotta fix it in two weeks. To fix it sunday, I turned the belt around. It kinda worked, a little bit.

So that's goin' on.

We are in the middle of the sermon on the mount. I introduced the guys to "Mr. Anonymous" hehe, doer of good deeds, I could tell you more, but then, well, what would be the point. ;-)

We do have prayer requests!

Craig McGrew: "I pray that my life will find meaning, that I can skillfully manange all that life throws at me, not to lose myself in hopelessness or depression, and my prosperity come and accumulate around me, lifting me up"

Berlin: "Please pray for me for understanding"

Jonathan Jones :"$"

Jaren Whitman: "My girlfriend's cancer, and I find a job"

Duck: "home and a job"

Lawrence J Brown: "Job employment"

Gregory Scott: "Pray that I get a regular job soon."

George Moore: "That my job comes through"

Dwaine McCoy: "Reunite me with my family"

Jack Bishop: "For Everything"

Yvonne Cook: "Pray for everyone we love you thank you all God bless"

These are important! Pray for them. Pray for me.

G. Brandon Hoyt

Mind Death and the Art of Feeling Numb

Mon, 01 Dec 2008 14:00:00 +0000

There are so many things in this world that keep pulling you down. You got terrorists in Mumbai, poor retail sales on black Friday, gubbmint officials who start lame duck sessions when they are first elected, and who live on a diet of pork and cocktails. I tell you, it's not hard to be apathetic with all the junk that I see people walking around keeping to themselves. At least my kids are still sweet.

So here's what's been going on this week: I got real sick Tuesday, and spent the rest of the week recovering, and dealing with the after effects of being sicky sicky. Thanksgiving was pretty good, but I didn't eat as much as have eaten, didn't want to see it again. Gross, right? I did spend some time trowing balls into trees to recover other balls that thrown into trees. It was a vicious cycle that eventually required the use of a ladder and a polesaw.

The weather and my recover efforts conspired to keep me home yesterday, but Matty, Jess, Rico, Steve, and others went downtown and handed out foodbags or one item to help people get out of the weather quicker. He said there were "Literally 80 people waiting". Now that's odd to me because most of the guys know we can only serve forty. Meh, meet the needs, save the world. Next week hopefully things will be better, we are supposed to get a cool snap this week.

for prayer requests, pray for me, and everyone downtown this week during the weather. I've got some hackin' work to do this week. Lervly lervly.

One last thing, one of my former college room mates has started an outreach to people with HIV, Life with a Vision that I think will be an entirely worthwhile effort!

l8r g8r
GB HOYT, sick and tired of being sick, and tired.

Even When I Ain't there, There you Go!

Tue, 25 Nov 2008 07:37:00 +0000

Didn't make it downtown this last week, but God's people did! Jess and Matty took some of the All-Stars downtown to help the homeless, and ministry happened. I love it! We even got some prayer requests:

Michael seaquist> Needs a good job
D.J.> To have others in need given help
jack Bishop> Jobs, Apartment Etc....
Desiree> For Gods will to be done in her life
Alphanso Ellis> Prayer to get off drugs and to be saved
James> Prayer for himself
Gregory Scott> Pray that he finds a full time job soon
Leon Johnson> Pray that he lives a more Christ like life.

Thanks guys for gettin' out there!
I received live updates via my inside man on the streets, and he informed me that everyone was grateful.
Things were well!


I Can't Brain Today, I Have the Dumb

Fri, 21 Nov 2008 15:11:00 +0000

Work is pretty fast paced right now. We are in full on thanksgiving mode, which means late nites for me (*GROAN*) and tiredness in the morning. On the homefront, the girls are gettin' round and round...
what is happening to my hair. I'm noticing more grey.

So on the BASIC front, the press for pants continues. Got a pair? Give it to us!

So, since I'm hurting my brain by thinking too much I feel obligated to help you think as well. hehe.
here we go:
What about this whole evil thing?
Natural evil, man made evil, whatever kinda of evil you can think up.
Why is there evil in the world? I've heard the question asked so many times, it kinda bores me a little bit. I know people who've suffered, I have suffered myself. I address part of the problem in this post and it's still very valid today.
I have a new thing to add to my argument though.
first read that post, come back, and you will understand what I'm saying here. Cause it's a gripe with people who don't get consequence.
People complain when God allows evil people like Hitler or Pol Pot to commit genocide, but when God does something about it, they complain about God committing the same crimes.
Punishment for harsh evil is harsh.
I get that.
why don't others??
here's the example:
What if i told you of a culture of drunken men routinely engaged in religious rape routinely engaged in warfare to spread their way of life upon the earth. They practiced slavery, took advantage of the less technologically advanced, and generally caused a ruckus. You know, they burned cities, killed babies, occasionally offering them to whatever idol they thought appropriate.
God punished them by telling the Israelites to kill them. They had their chance, they just didn't take it. Pull the plug.
God punished evil, and people hate Him for it.
God waits to punish, and the same people hate Him for it.
People are stupid, not God.
Somebody call me a jerk or something please, this is way to simple in my mind. I'm missing something obviously.
I need clarity.

Muddled and sleep deprived,

Spot O' Cool Weather

Mon, 17 Nov 2008 14:48:00 +0000

I guess the fall is officially here in Florida. It's cold this morning! It was starting to get chilly last night too. My hands actually got a lil' cold. I'm just glad the fish mobile has heat! Took a lil' while to run out of needs lists, i was kinda surprised. The BASIC All star crew took to the streets, and did their work well! Handed out a lot of jackets and other things. We need pants!
Can't get enough pants!
here's some prayer requests!

Stacy => "that I will be found faithful in Jesus Name"
Gregory Scott => "Pray for me that I may find or get a regular job real soon ok"
Stormie Knight => "Help make me a good christian in the faith, amen."
Luther Nelson => "Peace for the hurting ones"
Duck => "a Home"
Jack Bishop => "Pray that I find work ASAP"
James D. Kemp => "For my friend and I to make it to having a house and finally off the streets and stay off drugs"
Tony Wagner => "Oh, no sweat!"

Thank you!

Short Fall Rundown...

Thu, 13 Nov 2008 18:12:00 +0000

This fall has been an *Amazing* time for BASIC. Some big things are happening and I am loving it!

First of all,
BASIC has hired some part time help! Jessica Brooks and Matt Walters now do a lot of the grunt work, like gettin' clothes sorted and sized, preppin' the fish mobile, and helping the services run smoothly and effectively.

Lotsa clothes are beginning to come in. A lady gave us a Bunch of jackets, just in time for the season, we'll be glad to get them to people who need them! Also, we just this week put out bins at Florida Christian College to collect blankets, boots, and socks. If you are reading this and you or someone you know goes there, please, stop by the Student Union Building, and make a donation! Or send someone in your place. I will say though, that we need pants!! Especially in the 34-38 inch waist range. Really really need those. Pants, can't get enough.

Thanks to Matt, Jess, and the increase in clothing, we have been able to take people downtown every week the weather has allowed. I personally haven't been downtown every time, but someone has. That is the way it should be. I don't want this ministry to depend on my presence. I don't think it does. If BASIC is to really start helping people get off the streets, I'm going to need some free time to train small group leaders. We are going to start that in January.

i hope to be better about getting the prayer list posted online now. Feel free to make fun of me if I don't.

GB Hoyt

"Falling" behind...

Mon, 10 Nov 2008 18:15:00 +0000

Just a lil' seasonal Joke about my updating habits!
This has been an exciting fall if you are involved at all with BASIC! We Have had a lot of help this fall, and I would say, that if we had about $250 more dollars in support a month, we could keep doin' this sort of thing well.

Matt Walters and Jessica Brooks have been helping us out! They are a real blessing. I'll have more to say later, but wanted to post these prayer requests before I got too busy this week.

Prayer requests:

Marlyn Lucas => "Angela Joshua, granddaughter"
Victor Washington => "Prayer for Angle"
Andrew Cook => "For Love"
James Sanders => "Pray to get myself together need a place to rent"
Willie Williams => "Strength"
Leon Johnson => "To let go and let God for work, a good job so I can go indoors to live"
David Truhn => "Job"
Willie Sims => "To get off the street"
Orlando De Jesus => "Family"
Jack Bishop => "Everything"
Danny Paul => "Pray for me to get off drugs and alchohol!"
Gregory Scott => "Pray that I may come upon a regular job real soon ok"
Jesse Morris => "For Protection"

Thanks for praying!

If I Were a Carpenter...

Mon, 08 Sep 2008 15:16:00 +0000

don't forget to checkout my new randomness!

so I went to Orlando yesterday with an agenda:

1. Plug hole in fishmobile gastank.
2. Board up windows.
3. Lock all doors.
4. hand out foodbags downtown.

Items one and three were accomplished with no problem. Item two is about 33% complete, one window is boarded, all the wood is cut, but I'm not satisfied with the way things are right now. It still has a few design kinks to work out and whatnots.

As for item four, which is arguably the most critical, mission mostly accomplished. I went downtown, handed out about 15 foodbags (and there were more than enough people to go around), and told everyone what was up. People were waiting so some people at least remembered when I said I would be back. There were even a fair number of new faces. That kinda surprised me, but I guess it goes to show the power of word of mouth.

Next week we have college kiddies to help out, ought to be interesting.
later guys,
GB Hoyt

Catfish are Jumpin and the Cotton is High

Wed, 03 Sep 2008 16:22:00 +0000

Summertime is almost over. We are at the peak of the hurricane season, students are back in school, homeless activists are being arrested in my "back yard", and my mom and dad are about under water. It's also been a pretty busy summer. First things first.
We took July and August off, as far as street ministry is concerned. Many of the people and churches who support us had things going on, and couldn't provide the necessary manpower to get everyone together. Even I took a much needed vacation. It's tough raisin' two kids, holding down two jobs, and trying to run a homeless mission on top of that. I need help! I get some every now and again, but what we really need is someone who can do this every week.

Hopefully, that can happen this year. I'm going to see if I can get a couple of college kids from Florida Christian College to take the ministry on a coupla days a week for pay. It's a lot to ask a college kid to give up a coupla days a week for free, and I don't mind shellin' out a little dough if it means that ministry can happen every week. I have a few things going on that keep me from doing ministry in Orlando the way it needs to be done, and I'd like some prayer in that regard.
1. My truck is about broke down. It's got over 180,000 miles on it, more than one ding, and a leaky head gasket. I have every confidence in the world that she'll leave me stranded one day, probably on my way to or from Orlando. I can't afford another car payment, and I can't afford all the repairs necessary. So mostly, I just need to take it easy right now, and be happy if I make it the 6.5 miles to and from work.
2. I had to take a second job. One day the truck will need replacin' and the girls will need to go to college, so I got a second "at home" job with a website developer. That's right, I'm a paid hacker! It's great work, but requires I spend time doing it, and that means my time to spend with my family is greatly impacted. These kids don't raise themselves you know.
3. There is a lot of work in Lakeland to do. I honestly feel guilty not doing more here. This is my community, I can't pretend that I'm connected to Orlando beyond ministering to homeless people once a week. If students were more involved with BASIC I would feel a lot better, and could do something useful here.

What do you think?

peace out!


Mon, 14 Apr 2008 18:29:00 +0000

it's monday and i'm going to post on what happened yesterday downtown, first time all year, just about, hallelujah!

The fishmobile is back in service. Thank God. it's been out for a while now, but we are now using it again, even if it is a little ugly. The volunteers who helped pass stuff out certainly appreciated it, and the guys who received food and clothes, were happy that things went smoothly as well. All in all we had a great experience.

I spake on the necessity of quickly changing, before we are changed quickly, text was from 1 Corinthians 15:50 to the end of the chapter. It's important to understand that we must change to inherit the things that God as planned for us in the future. Flesh and blood do not inherit the kingdom of God.

As for prayer requests, I'll try to post those a little later in the week, the girls are in need of my constant supervision, so it's hard to pay attention to this blog and to them.

on other notes: my personal truck nears death. she ain't runnin' well, because we were just forced to buy another vehicle it will be difficult to replace the ole rabid mosquito, but alas, we still prevail.

So the daily chores call me away, look for another update later this week.
Oh, and if you are a nerd, checkout my latest attempts at being non sequitar: Scattagun experiment...
until then,
and God loves you,
G Brandon Hoyt

Up WAAAYYYY too Early...

Sun, 13 Apr 2008 10:38:00 +0000

there are certain pitfalls in life. Take this morning for instance, both my girls awoke at 4:30. Now, normally they are up at seven thirty, but today they hate me, so they were up really early. I don't know exactly why either, they just do. On most days that I work, I get off bout 1:30 am and am in bed by 2:30. Last nite i got home early, and went to bed bout midnite, thinking that I could get some sleep. I was wrong, here i am, with the same amount of sleep as normal. The girls are back asleep now, and am trying to do the same, even resorting to typing with my eyes closed. I'm not doing a bad job either from what I can tell. I'm going downtown later tonite, so i'll update later. supposedly i'll have lots of help.
tired boy...

Spring Crowds

Thu, 10 Apr 2008 18:42:00 +0000

It's been fairly busy downtown, the city is currently facing some legal troubles, a homeless man who started a congregation has an important ruling about the city's no feeding in parks ban coming up soon. i don't know what exactly that will mean for us right away, other than we might move back to the park behind the library to do BASIC. The fishmobile should be back this weekend, i'm going to wash it sunday before we go downtown mostly because i'm tired of having it and not using it. i don't care if we have to load and unload it every week, it's gettin' used, dag nab it.

so that's a quick update!

love you all!

Here I am!

Tue, 12 Feb 2008 15:50:00 +0000

incase you have forgotten, this is Brandon Hoyt. I just had a baby, and while when we only had one, i could blog while she napped having two complicates things a little bit. but now the oldest is watching the little mermaid, so we should be alright.

sorry for the few capital letters, the shift key is the enter key right now, and it's a long story!

ok, so the quick update is this:
BASIC continues, i've been doing inner city work now for nine years, and still doin' what i can do. being daddy though, has made me cut back quite a bit, especially since i can't do ministry for a full time living. i've been working on getting a job that would pay more than the bills so that i don't have to worry about pay, but we'll just see about that. Right now that mostly involves learning computer programming, both in school and outside of the formal educational setting. If you know anyone who would be willing to hire a new C++ or Ruby on rails programmer, lemmee know. Also i'm slowly learning the trickier aspects of linux system administration, and learning some lessons the hard way as it were. Namely, get your disk partitioning space right when you install the operating system, but that's enough nerd talk, let's get to the ministry!!

We've been going downtown almost every week as BASIC since august of 2003, starting january this year, i've changed our weeks to the 2nd and 4th sundays of the month downtown, mainly cause i need the other sundays to get stuff ready in the office. if i could get about 3 or four volunteers to commit every week, we would be able to get everything done that we need to get done, and go downtown every week, but until then, we just don't have time. I need to go shopping, sort clothes, clean the office, update a database, and keep everyone informed all by myself. Also, so that we can really help more people, i have decided to limit the number of people we serve every week we go downtown to forty. That is a sustainable number for us to help, and make an impact in their lives on a deeper level.

We do have some prayer requests:
Dan Siegfried: Thank you Brandon!
Parice Wallace: Mom
M.L. Taylor: for myself, for alcohol
Nelson Daniels: need job!
Michael Wright: that i will be able to get a job
Jack Bishop: everything, sleeping bag.
Curtis Latimer: Family members
John Duck: I need a job and a home.
Krystal Coleman: that God continues to answer my prayers, forever.
James Wilson: gainful employment volunteer to lead to employment in field.
Sheral Ables: Pray that we all stay safe.
Dwight: pray for everyone.
Theresa McDonald: for my wedding and babies.
Shameekia Smith: yes my child and myself.

also, remember my family, we were in a car accident superbowl sunday and our car was totaled, the guy drove off, but the police caught up with him, and we still don't know if he has insurance or not. Kelly's leg received a little abrasion, and my back hurts a little, but the kids seem to be alright. So far it's been a yucky ordeal, our car was paid for, and now we'll have a car payment, but with prayer, and hope, we'll come to a swift resolution to the matter.

so thanks for listening!
keep the faith,

Changing Places, Changing Hearts, Changing Seasons.

Tue, 18 Sep 2007 14:22:00 +0000

It's getting Darker earlier, and I can tell.
It's pretty amazing to watch the seasons change. I feel the restlessness of fall come upon me, and I am prompted to do certain things because it's that time. I am prompted to watch birds as they migrate, and to join others in this effort. I do it year round, but now I will actually make special trips to special places in an effort to see them through my binoculars. I will keep lists, an hope for things such as "cerulean Warblers" and "Lesser Yellowlegs". I have lifelists, statelists, countylists, and Lake Hollingsworth lists. It's not quite an obsession, just merely a tick, one that borders obsession in the fall. I also feel obliged to hurl lead at squirrels in an effort to acquire meat for gumbo. That's right, I am a hunter, and I love eatin' tree rat. We have a love hate relationship (squirrels and I) with an understanding that no matter what, if one of us sits still long enough, they can be considered food by the other. So far I have an advantage, but I know from experience that I should never sleep in the back yard... I also feel obliged to heed my Grandfather's exhortations to grab a spinnerbait, and chunk it when "the water turns on the bayou". It's a phenomenon you'd have to see to understand, but so far the biggest bass I've caught out of the ole muddy bayou was caught under such condition behind Henry Corley's momma's house. I was using a plastic lizard, but I've caught bass on a spinnerbait "out-da-by" too. Can't do that here in Lakeland though, for Bayou Beouf don't run over here. This time of year is when I miss Cheneyville the most.
I also think, what's going to happen this fall? Will Florida be warm, cool, hurricaned, or dry? All of those are valid options. It's a sobering time of year, because it is one of stark change, and great contrast. Gone is the single question of summer time: "is it raining or not"? Now we have to ask, is it raining, is it snowing, is a hurricane a blowing (thank you Gene Wilder!) The snowing part is hyperbole, but you would be surprised as how cool seventy can be if you have to sleep outside, under the stars, and nothing between you and the dirt/concrete/park bench but your clothes...
We need blankets and pants.
That is the most important thing I can say now.
We need blankets and pants, Please.

Sunday update to come, right now it's important for you to know that:
We need blankets and pants, fall is here.
and what will fall this year?

And Here is the Lesson!

Sun, 16 Sep 2007 05:29:00 +0000

here's the lesson I'll be giving in Sunday school. I will be preaching a shorter version tonite downtown.
Goodnite everybody!

1 Thessalonians 1

1. What are the three things that Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy remember before God about the Thessalonians? 1 Thessalonians 1:2, 3

2. How did they receive the Gospel? 1 Thessalonians 1:5

3. Why is the way they received the Gospel important to their congregation? 1 Thessalonians 1:4

4. What is the Job of the Holy Spirit in the world and to the believers?
John 16:7-14

5. Describe the faith of the Thessalonians. 1 Thessalonians 1:5-8

6. How did the world regard the Thessalonians? 1 Thessalonians 1:8

7. What kind of life did they have before they converted to Christianity?
1 Thessalonians 1:9

8. When they turned from their former lives, what life did they begin to live? 1 Thessalonians 1:10