Author Archives: John Muse and Patrick Pebley

Warning There is a Dress Code in Heaven

Jesus tells the marriage story of the King’s son in Matthew Chapter 22, verses 1-14. One of the guests came to the marriage without a wedding garment. The guest had no excuse and the King ordered: Bind him in hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:13)
The wedding garment represents the righteousness of Christ. Isaiah 61:10 states: He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; he hath covered me with the robes of righteousness… Refusing His garment of righteousness are those who think they can gain Heaven by their own works of righteousness. The Bible says all of our righteousness are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). In other words no matter how good you are, you will never be good enough to be allowed admittance into Heaven.
The outer darkness is the destination of every person who does not receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. If you reject Jesus, you will be cast into eternal darkness. Jude 13 describes the setting of this final “resting” place as the blackness of darkness forever. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in Hell, reflecting the great pain and endless agony there.
Where will you spend eternity, Heaven or Hell? So many people refuse to acknowledge that they care about what happens to them after they die. God has provided you with a way out of Hell and a way into Heaven by dying on The Cross in your place for your sins.
Eternal life is a gracious gift for which only Jesus Christ, who was sinless, could have paid the cost. Salvation is not in any way deserved or earned. It is the gift of God, dispensed impartially to whoever believes and receives His Son, Jesus. The Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves; It is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:9-9).
God is ready to receive you. Open the door of your heart and invite Jesus to come in and become your Lord. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and he with me (Revelation 3:20).Don’t miss the greatest opportunity of your life, the opportunity to live with Jesus forever.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ – Romans13:14

Pat’s Place: The Bruce is loose and so is Coach Jones

Well it has been a tough week to be a basketball coach in East Tennessee. First much beloved UT Men’s Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl gets the boot. On the heels of that Cougar Boy’s Basketball Coach Barry Jones resigns after a difficult season.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a basketball fan above the high school level. What you folks call basketball season I call hockey season. One man changed that and his name is Bruce Pearl. His passion for UT and his exciting coaching style glued me to the TV whenever the Vols were on TV. Previously only football did that for me.
Now he is gone and so is my interest in basketball. Don’t get me wrong I am still a fan of UT and I wish the players well because they had nothing to do with the loss of Coach Pearl. I just do not see myself planning my schedule around UT basketball any time in the near future.
I fear our team may fall to the levels that I would like to say are previously unheard of but I can’t because prior to Bruce Pearl we played some dismal basketball. Outside of Allan Houston we have not had many stars come out of UT since I can remember. Yes I know we had the Ernie and Bernie show but that was before my time. In fact outside of Houston, Ernie, and Bernie I think it is safe to say our next most famous basketball alumni is WWE Legend Kevin Nash and he isn’t famous for basketball.
With Pearl we had players like Chris Lofton and Dane Bradshaw that won our hearts both on the court and off. Without Pearl we may have a team that features Tyler Summit. Nothing against Pat Summit’s son but he walked on to learn how to coach. With the rate of attrition the team will likely see he may be starting next season.
I hope Vol Basketball can recover but I fear the process will take years. John pretty much covered everything about the situation in this week’s Vol Watch column so I refer you to that for more info.
The Coach Jones situation is similar to Pearl’s except that he had no violations, just a school board member on a witch-hunt for him. Jones took over the program after the one of the lowest incidents in the history of local sports, and that is saying a lot. He was willing to come in and take over a squad where the previous coach was ousted after a conspiracy between players, parents, and the director of schools at the time led to a player walk out and the team having to have tryouts for midseason replacements.
Jones did a passable job with what he had. He may not have had the best record but his teams did often play competitively. It may have been time for him to step down if next season went poorly but I feel like he was pressured out by certain elements in the hierarchy.
I have not always been the biggest supporter of Jones mostly due to his stance of if you played basketball then you could play no other sport. I had a former player that I coached at Jacksboro, who is both a good football and basketball player, who was forced into a choice by Jones. He chose football and I feel the basketball team was poorer for that choice. I know he was not the only one to have to make such a choice.
I will say this about Jones, I talked to Bo Vinsant about his firing yesterday and Bo had very positive things to say about him. There is not a single person in this county that I respect their opinion about basketball more than Bo. If he said Jones was doing a good job that is good enough for me.
Hopefully both programs will get good coaches to replace the ones they lost. I don’t think it matters who UT gets at this point because they will not last more than a couple of years. CCHS can hopefully bring in a good coach to propel the program back to the level it was in the 80’s and early 90’s.

Jellico Alderman roll back utility rates

When the Jellico Mayor and Board of Aldermen abolished the Jellico Utility Board they promised to roll back rates for their citizens. They wasted no time in doing so. They held a special called meeting Tuesday night to deal with rates and elect municipal officers.
Mayor Les Stiers made the motion to roll back rates by 2% across the board. Tommy Bowlin seconded the motion and it passed 41 with Cisco Johnson as the only dissenting vote.
Mayor Stiers was proud to say, “This rate reduction puts money back in everyone’s pockets.”
With their recent actions other towns are now looking to Jellico for guidance to do similar services to their citizens. The mayors of two other municipalities have called Jellico seeking guidance for the procedures that save their citizens money by forgoing the use of a utility board. “You can count on one hand the number of municipalities that have done this,” said Stiers.
In other business the board elected their officers. Alvin Evans was elected chairman and Cisco Johnson was elected secretary.
As it was a called meeting only those two agenda items were discussed.

I Hate Meth Speaks to state lawmakers

Monday started as an average evening for I Hate Meth cofounder John Luallen but quickly turned exciting with a phone call from State Representative Dennis Powers. Powers, the newly elected representative of Campbell and Union Counties, wanted Luallen and the other I Hate Meth cofounder Toby Young to come to Nashville. Their mission was to testify before a House subcommittee concerning legislation that would make psuedoephedrine a prescription only drug.
Luallen and Young jumped at the chance to further help their cause. The County Commission raised $404 out of their own pockets to help these crusaders cover their expenses to the state capital.
They hope to make the relatively easy meth making ingredient psuedoephedrine much more difficult for meth cooks to obtain.

Jones Out as CCHS Basketball Coach

The Cougar Boy’s Basketball team will have a new coach next season. Barry Jones resigned earlier this week. This year’s Cougar basketball squad bowed out of the season during the first round of the district tournament.
Jones was unable to be reached for comment but in a statement he released he said, “My wife and I decided together it was in the best interest of our family for me to step down and pursue other opportunities. We both desire a positive, rigorous and challenging environment for each of our four children and believe that would best be accomplished if we begin to move forward with our lives.I appreciate the opportunity (principal) Gary Seale and (athletic director) Jim Pierce gave me to coach at Campbell County and have been blessed to work with many fine young people in this community. I wish them all the best.”
More details will follow on www.thevolunteertimes.com and on the inaugural episode of Sports Chat.