Wednesday on the Coast

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David Archuleta … Can Anyone Else Really Win The American Idol Contest? No.

I’ve arrived back on the Coast safe and sound. It started off a rainy cloud covered day in Pascagoula, but the sun is shining now.

Yesterday I stopped by the Orange Grove Church of Christ in Gulfport and visited with my longtime friend Les Ferguson, Jr. Les is excited because they have now started having their assembly in a new worship facility. Their story begs to be told. Having made the decision pre-Katrina to sell their building to a neighboring car dealership and move into a different neighborhood, they were dreaming some big dreams. Contractors were contacted. Blueprints were placed on the wall to encourage the church family to get excited. Then came August 29, 2005. After evacuating from the dangers of Katrina, Les and family returned home to find his house relatively undamaged (Praise God!)…but a city that was demolished. The Orange Grove church was located on Hwy 49 … a prime location for ministry, distribution, and storm relief. That is what they did. After several months, suffering from exhaustion, a near-constant stress level, and the sudden passing away of an elder, the church received news that the car dealership needed to take ownership of the property they had purchased before the storm. This forced the church to seek a new meeting place. For the past year and a half they have worshiped in a funeral home near their new property. Multiple challenges emerged that set back their building process. Recently another elder passed away and yet another elder moved away. Through it all Les set up an office at his home. He preached positive and encouraging messages to this band of believers. To their credit, they lost very few members during this time of transition. Easter Sunday was their first Sunday, and they had nearly 250 fill their beautiful auditorium. Even more found their way to Orange Grove the next Sunday. They have installed some additional elders, including the appointment of Les as an elder. His leadership has been demonstrated at the Orange Grove church for nearly ten years I believe. Les, Karen, Kyle, Cole, Conner, Casey … the Ferguson family … have been used by God in a glorious way in Gulfport, Mississippi. And I noticed that Les has lost some weight recently. Keep up the great work!

Unfortunately I came home to a sick Maggy who has a virus I’m working hard to avoid. She’s feeling a bit better this morning.

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David Cook

AMERICAN IDOL CHATTER. American Idol contestant David Cook was taken to the hospital last night after his performance on live television. He was released a few hours later. Apparently he’s having a high blood pressure problem that could be related to stress. Not only is the competition highly stressful, Cook’s brother is suffering from cancer and has had a setback in his health. We wish David the best. He is definitely a top-three contestant on the show, and will no doubt have a record deal whether he wins or loses. It’s hard to say who we’ll be saying goodbye to tonight. Other than David Cook, Michael Johns, and David Archuleta, it doesn’t really matter – the rest are only on the show until they get voted off. If I had to guess, I’d say that Ramiele has been hanging on by a thread for several weeks now. We may say goodbye to her tonight. This was Kristy Lee’s week to shine, and she didn’t. So, it won’t be long for her either.

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Michael Johns

This was my favorite week of American Idol so far! The three videos posted here are, in my opinion, the top three contestants.

SCHOOLYARD KILLERS. Troy Stirman was the first to point this story out to me. It was also covered on MSNBC this morning. Troy puts part of the blame on ritalin. I’m just wondering what our culture contributes to such a climate. I’ve heard many parents exclaim that they protect their children from nudity and sex scenes in movies, but violence is no big deal. To be honest, I’ve thought that way in the past. In an entertainment world where heroes are killers, the solution to problems is to blow things up, and where killings are accompanied by buckets of blood, one has to wonder how this influences the way we think about life. I know this can’t be the total answer…or we’d have a nation full of Children of the Corn out to kill us all. It seems to me that there is no more innocence of childhood – we’re in a big hurry to get rid of that. Innocence of infants is about all that’s left.

Thanks for stopping by today!

JD

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