Dr. Doug Plumlee's Response to Ridgedale's Call
April 30th, 2013
This is a note from Dr. Doug Plumlee, New Senior Pastor for Ridgedale Baptist Church.
It is hard for me to express my feelings after being called as Senior Pastor at Ridgedale Baptist Church. I never imagined this opportunity would occur but I am so excited to be here and see what God is going to do as we work together. We ask you to be praying for us as we make the transition. We know that God is in control and He will take care of all the details.
I also wanted to thank all of you for the warm welcome that you gave our family this past weekend. It was so nice to get reacquainted with many people and to meet many new friends. We may not remember all of your names the next time we see you but we will be working on that.
As I told you this weekend, we are coming to Ridgedale because we know God has called us, we have a strong love for this church because of all that it has meant to my family, and we are excited about all the opportunities that God has given this church. We look forward to seeing you on June 2nd. God can do great things through us as we work together.
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September 6th, 2011
I don’t understand why some musicians choose to talk so much during their concerts. More than once I have been to an event featuring a world class musical artist, prepared to hear and appreciate their music, but have been disappointed by how little music was actually performed.
The artists chose to talk more than (or at least as much as) they performed the art for which they are famous. To my delight I have heard some good music at these events, but to my displeasure the artists interrupted their own best gift by talking too much. Usually we think someone who talks during a concert is rude, but what if it is the artist themselves who is interrupting their own presentation of excellent music?
It’s kind of like when I was a kid… I was so excited about a toy that didn’t deliver what it promised. I had saved up my allowance to buy a really cool Captain Lightning Helmet complete with chin strap, ear protectors and lightning bolt decals. On the cereal box it looked so cool. But as soon as the helmet arrived by mail, the disillusionment began. The first time I put it on, the elastic chin strap stretched into frayed ribbon and random balls of thread with pieces of rubber band sticking out. The ear piece was irreparably bent inward, and gouged your neck when you turned your head. And because the decals were so cheap, they had big folds and air bubbles in them when you tried to apply them. I thought I was getting something cool, but got something much less.
If you advertise a concert featuring the music for which you are famous, don’t spend the whole time talking. Yes, I understand that sometimes an artist has to set up the song with some insights as to how the song came about, however, as a gifted artist, you have been blessed with the ability to tell the story with a song. Why spend 10 minutes telling the message in words, when your music says it better, more beautifully, and more memorably than your words ever could.
I also understand that some artists have to give their fans a little window into their soul. Many audiences demand a connection with the artist. If you have more of yourself that you feel you need to share, you can do it in another venue like a written or video blog. Those fans who want more connection can get it, but those who want to hear your heart and passion through your live performance can get what they came to hear. Talk some, but play more. The fans connected with you because your music effectively spoke to their soul; don’t get them to your event and give them your less gifted presentation of talk.
And Yes, I know that many artists consider their musical recognition as a platform to highlight causes that are important to them. I applaud artists for using their fame for the benefit of those who are less fortunate. So if you are an artist with a charity, write a song that expresses your heart for your cause. It is your music that moves people into action. It is your music they remember. Just watch them when you sing. They will sing it back to you. Touch their heart and soul and they will respond.
And finally, I can’t pretend to know the rigors of a life on a concert tour. I am sure it must be exhausting at times. Perhaps, these artists just need more recharge time before performing. Maybe the verbal rambling provides recovery time for tired performers. If this is the case, perhaps the tour schedule should be adjusted to facilitate more musical excellence and less mediocre speeches.
Our society has learned that words can be cheap and that authenticity is a scarce commodity. But if you have been given the gift of sincere self expression through music, use it! If you are only an average speaker, but an excellent musician, then communicate through your strength and leave the talking to those who can’t sing or play.
Enough ranting, maybe I’m just jealous because I have very little musical ability… but maybe, just maybe there is some truth here.
Ranting in Love,
I Wear My Sunglasses Inside
March 24th, 2009
For the first time in my 45 years, I went to the eye doctor for an eye exam. Aside from having a shard of metal removed from my eye about 15 years ago, I have never needed to go to an eye doctor. Most of my years, I could see fine.
But about 5 years ago years ago someone snuck into my house and shortened my arms. Suddenly, I couldn’t get things far enough away from my face to read them.
I am not the best reader anyway, so adding the fact that I couldn’t see the words could really mess things up for a person who spends time almost every week preaching or teaching. For about a year, I just pretended there was not a problem and faked it while reading, making up the words and overlooking the punctuation that I couldn’t make out. This worked okay until I tried it with scripture. Somehow overlooking punctuation and making up words in the Bible while preaching can change the whole meaning of what you are trying to communicate.
When the passage Romans 1:13 (KJV) “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.” ,
Comes out of your mouth as, “Now I would not have you ignorant brethren, that oftentimes I proposed to Heather too, that I might be a fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles,”
there is a problem!
So, rather than continuing to communicate heresy, I reluctantly found a pair of reading glasses. Unfortunately, the first time my family saw me wear them was when I stepped up in the pulpit to preach one Sunday Morning. One of my kids, who had not yet learned to whisper, said, “Mom, look at Dad!” My wife’s embarrassed, stifled laughter bounced her head and body up and down and caught my eye. I had to stop and chuckle at myself. But that didn’t faze me. I held out for 4 more years without going to the eye doctor.
This brings me back to today. I walk into the doctor’s office after filling out a ream of paperwork; most of which has nothing to do with my eyes. A nurse takes me to this room and asks “do you wear glasses?” I looked at her kind of funny and thought about saying “yes, they are just invisible right now,” but I held my tongue and politely said, “yes, I wear reading glasses.”
She then took me to another room and had me read letters from far away and up close. Then she asked me to put my face in three different machines (and the germ-a-phobe voice inside my head wanted to ask: “On the same place where the last person who has a healthy colony of that mutant strain of streptococcus resistant to any antibiotic just put his face? No, way!” But before my nerdy imaginary friend inside my brain could finish, the nice lady wiped each of the chin and forehead plates with an alcohol wipe.)
After these seemingly harmless initial tests came the “ocular inquisition.” They numb your eyes, poke them with a “sharpie”, and then put drops in them to make them dilate. While you are waiting for the drops to take effect they send you to “the darkroom.” I thought, “are they developing pictures and if so, why do I have to be in there?” I soon found out that it was not a darkroom, but just a dark room.
And what do you think they put in this dark room? Magazines! Magazines! This is not even funny, my eyes are doing things they have never done before, the lights are dim, my vision is getting blurrier by the second, and the masochistic eye professionals put a whole reading rack filled with magazines into this room. Hello! Why not play soothing music or talk radio or offer some other auditory stimulus, or maybe a pleasant smell, or even some play dough to squeeze through your fingers, so you can enjoy the use of your other senses, while your primary sense is being slowly numbed into optical submission?
When my vision was at the peak of blurriness, the nurse says, “Mr. McGinnis, the doctor will see you now.” as she led me to yet another room. In walks a fuzzy speaking tree with arms and says, “I’m Dr. So-in-so.” I still can’t tell you what my eye doctor looks like, it could be anyone. The woody perennial plant sits in front of me, slings an arbor toward me with his branches and then shines a bright light into my eyes. OUCH! As he is doing this he is calling out random numbers to his tree friend who kind of smelled like the nice lady who cleaned the chin plates. In a flash it’s over. After a quick shake of branches they hand me a folder and tell me to take it to the end of the hall. The female tree says, go toward the EXIT sign. Real funny, I can’t see the wall, how am I going to see the EXIT sign?
I finally navigated the hall without the help of a guide dog and stopped at what I thought must be the desk. I knew I was in the right place when the chair said, “your co-pay will be $10.” I find my credit card by Braille and hand it to her. She then hands me a receipt to sign… (the paranoid in me says, I may have just signed for $1000.)
I was about to walk out to go to my car, when they said, “Sir, here are some sun glasses for you.” This part was a joke too, because when my eyes recovered I realized how ridiculous these things made me look as I ventured back to the office.
There is some bit of consolation for my humiliation. It could have been worse. My wife finished at the same doctor a few minutes after I did, but rather than go home she decided to go to meet a friend for lunch. Apparently, when your eyes have been dilated, the little picture of a man on the outside of the men’s room looks a lot like the little picture of a woman on the outside of the women’s room. She obviously was not too concerned about the similarities until she noticed a pair of men’s shoes walking into the stall next to hers, but facing the wall.
Yes, I am glad this was only my first checkup at the eye doctor in 45 years! And yes, I really am thankful for eye professionals, just thought you may want to enjoy my office visit humiliation story.