Thursday, April 19, 2012


As published in the Newport (TN) Plain Talk
Release Date – Apr 19, 2012
Column Number - 1216

Our title for this experience into literary excellence makes a lot of good old fashioned Frogpond horse sense – if you allow it! Something good can come from something bad if you are perceptive enough to perceive the good when you are presented with the bad.

Allow me to illustrate this principle. Have you ever done something out of the ordinary, away from the norm, distant from your groove – and you can’t explain why; but when you look back at the entire experience, you see that something bad could have happened, had you continued in your same old rut?

I rest my case!

Well, not exactly; because I have another couple of classic experiences to share; and every Christian has them, they just might not have been receptive to receive them at the time.

My friend Euretha Carson told me that she was driving up the old Knoxville Highway towards Frogpond when that last big storm hit. First, the wind came up, and she braved onward; then came the rain, and she slowed down a bit, but continued on. When the hail came, she took the option that just “happened” to present itself and pulled off to let it pass.

When the clearing cleared and the dark clouds undarkened; she noticed that just up the road, a big tree had fallen across the highway and she would possibly have hit it – or maybe even been under it - had she continued up the yellow brick.

“Just happened”, huh? No! From something seemingly bad came something noticeably good. Just ask anyone who is observant enough (they have to be a Believer so they will not automatically assume that this stuff “just happens”).

By the way, if I might wax a little eloquent for a moment, Euretha and I were colleagues at the old Southern Bell Telephone Company; and I was working with her on the phone on a bad situation. When we got it done, she asked me to come to a revival that the West End Baptist Church was having; and “Miss ‘Nita” and I went – because she asked – and that is when I started going there and am there today! You see, from a bad experience came an explanation; from a situation came a solution; from something bad came something good.

Want more? I got a million of ‘em! We can all think of things that have happened that cannot be explained by any other reason except that God did it!

West End Baptist owns and operates a sign up on “our corner” of West End Street and Knoxville Highway (perhaps you have heard of it). We call her “Ima” – “Ima Sign”; and she hangs in there 24/7/365 – well most of the time. She broke recently, and we tried everything to resuscitate her; but it really looked bad for the home team. We gave her a transfusion of new parts; but she still didn’t respond.

Then we gave her a “joint replacement” of the wireless transmitter; and, in so doing, Ron had to go up into the inside of the steeple; and, guess what? Go on - guess! Ok; they found that one of the four bolts holding the steeple had failed and it was leaning towards Frogpond by as much as two inches. One more storm like that last one, and either First Baptist or Lincoln Avenue would have had another steeple sticking out of their existing one!

That’s the bad; so where’s the good? We (actually Larry, Lisa, Gracie, and Jack) went up and fixed the bolt, tightened it down, and made it steady as a rock again. Had we not had the momentary inconvenience of a dead sign, they would never have found the faulty bolt (I mean, how often do you guys go up inside your steeples and check the bolts); and First Bapti … well you know.

God is active in our lives; but He does not choose to micromanage. You have a free will and are free to stump your toe if you want to disregard His Leadings. Good can come from these experiences but you have to allow it to come out. It has happened to all of you!

Calvary looked like something bad (as indeed it was – momentarily); but from that Sacrifice on Calvary comes our Salvation through Christ. It only comes from God through Jesus Christ; no one else ever died for you – in your place – AS you! No one else did that but Jesus The Christ; and He is wanting us to tell people the “Good News” (“The Gospel”).

And that is a good thing!

These columns are written by Tom Mooty, Pastor of Newport’s West End Baptist Church; and appear each Thursday in the Newport Plain Talk Newspaper. Please feel free to forward these masterpieces to your friends and family around the world; and send all comments to or P.O. Box 851, Newport 37822, TN 37822.

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As published in the Newport (TN) Plain Talk
Release Date – Apr 12, 2012
Column Number - 1215


Ever heard that expression: “The ground is level at (you fill in the blank). It is apparently a promise that everyone will be treated equally well; that opportunities will be shared equally; and all that sounds really nice. The only problem is, “It just flat ain’t true”.

Someone wrote on this subject and concluded with this bombshell of a comment: “They say everyone is equal; but some are more equal than others”.

Actually, it just makes sense to realize that we all have different problems that rise to different intensities requiring different solutions; and level ground just won’t cut it in many situations.

My grandfather always walked with a limp, (as far back as I can remember) because he had one leg that was longer than the other one. He used to love to make the same old tired joke when he would visit us in the greater metro area of Frogpond in the “hills and stills” of East Tennessee and saw that very familiar sight of cows grazing on the side of a hill. He would always say that he would fit in real well on that hillside because he could “walk level” on those trails. We always laughed because … well just because!

Now that I have approached old geezerdom; I do the same as he and I hope my grandkids do the same as me!

Actually, it brings up a very important issue which must be resolved; do those cows, in fact, have one set of legs shorter on one side? If they don’t, how do they walk around on those steep hillsides? If they do; what happens when they get down on level ground (if they can find any); or, perish the thought, reverse themselves and walk the other way on the other side of the hill? And, by the way, do you risk milking them on the leaning side or choose the safer upper side?

These things all need to be explained; and I think Congress should spend a gazillion of our green ‘Murican dollars to figure it out. A new cabinet position could be formed; and a new tsar could be paid; and – well, you know…

The simple truth is that unlevel ground causes problems for workers, runners, walkers, and baby carriage pushers (does anybody push those things anymore; do those things even exist anymore?).

Life has its peaks and valleys; we are not all the same! Everything is not always vanilla; into every life some Moose Tracks must fall! Everyone has different skill sets and we all need to work together to reach the goal.

In studying Solomon’s Temple in the Bible, we found that the Israeli had basic agricultural skills and the Sidonians had basic carpentry skills with wood, metal, and stone. One needed food, the other had food; one needed carpentry skills, the other had carpentry skills – and so they worked together to get that amazing job done.

People face different problems in different ways.

Some run around the problem; and never get around to solving it. They make a lot of noise and create a lot of activity; but they prefer to DEFER solving the problem.

Some run away from the problem; and likewise never get around to solving it. They too make a lot of noise and create a lot of activity; but they prefer to DENY solving the problem.

Some run through the problem; taking and tackling little portions of it at a time, one day at a time, one step at a time. They do not make a lot of noise and do not create a lot of activity; but they prefer to DEAL with the problem – and they come through on the other side as a winner!

We are all different! Just look around you; take a good look, and you will see.

The only place I know where the “ground is truly level” is Calvary; because that depends only upon how God feels and how man feels doesn’t enter into it at all! Oh, we try to put our own spin on the crucifixion and make it into something we want it to be – but sin is sin; and only Calvary’s Sacrifice of Jesus Christ can deal with it!

In that sense; and only in that sense, it is “one size fits all”; and you must come His Way – or you don’t get there!

These columns are written by Tom Mooty, Pastor of Newport’s West End Baptist Church; and published each Thursday. Please fell free to forward them to your friends and family around the world; and send all comments to or P.O. Box 851, Newport, TN 37822.

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As published in the Newport (TN) Plain Talk
Release Date – Apr 5, 2012
Column Number - 1214

My title this time comes from the words contained in a Gospel song from days past; I remember neither the title nor the artist; but these words were somewhere in there.

It had to do with Easter Sunday’s approach after the climactic events of the crucifixion.

King Jesus had ridden into the Holy City (Jerusalem, not Nashville, New York, Brussels, Rome, and certainly not Washington, DC - pullleeessse); and made a final offer of Himself as King – but, after having gotten caught up in the immediate excitement of the moment, most (not all) of the people ultimately followed the leadership of most (not all) of their “leaders” and screamed out for Jesus to be crucified!

Dark days, sad days for His followers! You see, they didn’t know that this was necessary, in fact, essential to effect God’s Plan whereby they – and you and I could ultimately be saved and taken to heaven when we die (or Jesus returns, whichever comes first)!

We know that – well, we have been exposed to it - whether we “know” it or not is up for grabs – but they didn’t have a clue!

They should have; He had certainly given them clues several times; but their minds were clouded with their delusions of grandeur of “sitting next to Him at His throne”, etc.

And so, they missed it; they missed the greatest point of the greatest plan ultimately designed and given by Omniscient, Omnipotent God Almighty.

But Sunday Morning was coming down!

Joseph of Arimathaea had spent untold amounts of money and time having his tomb carved out of the solid rock wall; only to freely donate it to His Master. To Joseph’s credit, He didn’t know that Christ was only going to use it for seventy-two hours (three days and nights); and, as was their custom, an immediate burial was accomplished on the evening of the day of the crucifixion.

Before dawn on what we know as “Easter Sunday”, three ladies came to the tomb to finished their hurried burial process (anointing the body with spices); and found the stone already rolled away; and angels told them what had happened. Two of them left to tell the others and received an appearance by the Risen Christ.

Mary of Magdala was left there and saw a “man” she assumed was Joseph’s gardener; and also received a special appearance from the Risen Christ. She too, hurried off to tell everyone.

Then came Peter and John after the ladies had told them the good news. John (the younger of the two) got there first and was peering inside the darkened tomb when Peter came blundering right on inside to see for himself. John was then emboldened by Peter’s actions and went inside; and he, too, became an eyewitness that Jesus was not there.

There are two locations for that tomb that tourists are shown in Jerusalem. One of them has been chiseled away by unthinking tourists; but the other is still right there – and I am a witness; I can assuredly attest that Jesus’ body is in neither of them!

Later that day, Jesus appeared to two disciples (Cleopas and his wife, Mary?) as they sadly made their way back home to Emmaus; and when they finally recognized Him (they weren’t looking for Him and their vision was distorted by their grief) they made the dangerous journey back to Jerusalem to add their voices to the growing crowd of those who had witnessed these events!

That night, He appeared to ten of His Disciples; a week later to those ten plus Thomas; later to over five hundred Believers at the Sea of Galilee; and the eyewitness pool continued to grow. He later ascended into heaven from Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives; with a promise from the accompanying angels that He would return. Stephen and Paul later saw Him in special powerful appearances in Heaven.

It’s a fact! Jesus had resurrected “out from among the dead ones” – (ek nekkro)! Easter Sunday had “come dawn”; and we will never be the same – neither will the entire world - because of those events of that week!

These columns are written by Tom Mooty, Pastor of Newport’s West End Baptist Church. Feel free to forward these columns to your friends and family around the world. All comments can be sent to or P.O. Box 851, Newport, TN 37822.

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As published in the Newport (TN) Plain Talk
Release Date – Mar 29, 2012
Column Number - 1213

From time to time in these weekly visits; I have shared one or two of the eight or nine things I learned in my seven years in high school, and the many and varied seminars, conferences, and classes to which I have been privileged to sit in front of some of the greatest sacred and secular teachers when God has placed in my path.

In short; I have leaned some stuff!

I know that it was fun growing up here! It was a hoot knowing the “Third Street Gang”, the “Jones Hill Terrorist”, the “Knob Hill Boys”, and the “Frogpond Freedom Fighters”.

I know that we have had some great people here, regardless of what you may have heard or read. I am happy that the majority of my sacred and secular teachers lived correctly – whether they were in front of me or not. The same thing can be said of several of my classmates; many of whom are still alive and still living correctly still today.

I believe we have had six thousand years of human history since the Garden of Eden; about four thousand of which have expired since the world-wide flood of Noah’s day.

I believe the Bible was inspired of God in its original manuscripts – totally inspired of and by God who was alive then, is alive now, and always will be alive and well! I believe the same God who authored the Scriptures called about forty men from three continents to write His Word over a span of fifteen hundred years; and has also preserved that Word in a reliable translation which we can trust as truth, very truth.

I memorized the verses from the King James Version (1769; not 1611 – oh please!) with “The Bible Ladies” when they came around to our school; recited them to my teachers; and got my free week at Camp in Elizabethton. That Bible was preserved through the sweat, tears, and blood of many martyrs whose only “crime” was to desire a reliable translation in the language of the people.

I believe that the miracles happened and I do have to explain how. God did it and that settles it for me; I need no other explanation. For instance, I believe the Red Sea parted and the people went across on dry ground and when it rushed back in again, the water was deep enough to drown the entire Egyptian army.

I believe the Jordan River likewise parted (at flood stage) and the Israeli went across. I do not need an earthquake or rock slide upriver to explain it; it happened because God spoke it.

I believe the ax head “swam”; although I do not necessarily have to see it doing the “breast stroke”, I do believe that it “floated” at the whim and will of God.

I believe that Jesus The Christ (“Yeshua Ha Meshiach”) allowed Himself to literally be taken, arrested, tried, convicted, beaten, and subsequently crucified for no other reason than to pay for and bring about the forgiveness of my sins and yours. Frankly, if He didn’t want that plan to proceed, all He had to do was snap His fingers, speak a word, pray a prayer, think a thought, or whatever; and He would have been instantly back in His Heavenly Home with The Father. He allowed that entire scenario to happen because that is exactly what He came to do in the first place!

I believe Jesus The Christ was in the borrowed tomb for three days and three nights, or seventy-two hours; and came forth from among the dead ones to show that The Father had accepted His Sacrifice of Himself to take away each and every one of our numerous sins.

I believe Jesus Christ to be the unique begotten Son and sole Savior of the soul of each and every man, woman, young people and old-enough child – no matter where they are found or located. I further believe that He will be returning to get His Children sooner rather than later; and then will return to this earth to establish His Kingdom of one thousand years followed by Eternity.

I know, I know; that’s pretty simplistic; if you can say that about something as complex and complicated as the Salvation proviso for each and every person in the world who has the good sense to accept Him as Savior and receive His Salvation.

Don’t know how? I do, and I will share!

These columns are written by Tom Mooty, Pastor of Newport’s West End Baptist Church. You are invited to forward these posts to friends and family around the world. All comments can be sent to or P.O. Box 851, Newport, TN 37822.

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