Monday, May 18, 2009

I'm ashamed to admit it...

Tonight I saw the best and worst of baseball and people. The opposing team had one player who was afraid to take his turn at bat. The team took an automatic out each time his spot in the batting order came up. We had two outs on them and his turn was next. The game was sorta close and there was no way the coaches were going to accept an automatic out.
The kid's name is David, #21. He stood in the box almost visibly trembling. The first pitch was at the bill of his helmet but he swung at it. The next pitch wasn't much better and he swung at it, too. The third pitch was below his knees but he made good contact as he gratuitously waved at it with his bat. A sharp hit ball to shortstop was fielded cleanly. The good throw to first secured the third out.
I cheered for David more loudly than I cheered for our team retiring the side.
Two boys on our team taunted David during his at bat.
The Bible teaches that we are to lift up others and think of them as highly or more highly than we think of ourselves. Taunting an opposing player - especially one like David who was scared of getting hit by a wild pitch - is totally out of line. Who cares if the 8-9 yr old team is on the verge of winning only the second game of the season! What matters is that these kids learn the game and learn to love the game.
David made great progress tonight. At least two on our side of the diamond made an error.

Reaching Talitsa

I’m excited about the trip to Russia. Just two more days then we are gone for ten. The team from Cross Road Baptist Church in Little Rock includes Ed and Shirley Meux, and my wife Deana and me. The tentative schedule – everything is tentative on the mission field, I’ve learned – is to have a couple of days in Ekaterinburg for orientation to the Russian culture then travel to smaller towns where there is virtually no evangelical presence. The goal is to talk with the one believer in Talitsa and try to discern what God is doing there and how our church can partner with this believer and another church a couple of hours away to reach the city for Christ. Long-term, we hope to plant a Baptist church there.


We may also be involved in similar projects in other small communities where there are no evangelical churches. Sounds like the book of Acts, doesn’t it! Pray that we will follow the Acts model: much prayer and excellent obedience. Wouldn’t you like to know that people halfway around the world can experience the impact of a relationship with Jesus Christ?


I am praying for the Spirit to show us how to be involved in the eastern part of Sverdlovskaya oblast (state). I am also praying that this focus on God’s Spirit will also guide our church in Little Rock into revival and greater community ministry. So much of the technology we enjoy today was developed for our use by the military or the space program – things learned far away change our near community. I’m hoping the same thing happens with regard to evangelism and missions. May the Lord’s work through us in a faraway place initiate his freedom to work in us at home.


Impacting Eternity Now



Thursday, May 14, 2009

Reading Glasses

I am 45 years, 8 days old. And the eye doctor said this would happen. March 2008: "I can help you with your reading now or we can wait but we can't wait very long." He must have the spiritual gift of prophecy.

So here I am with my reading glasses. Here's my dilema. I am nearsighted and could not read the computer screen in front of me without glasses or contact lenses. I wear contacts most of the time. This is good for seeing road signs, too! I can read even small print without glasses or contacts but with them in I can't. So if I'm wearing glasses I prop them up on my head while I'm reading and drop them down when I look across the room. If I'm wearing contacts I wear the reading glasses to read and prop them up on my head while I look across the room.

I'm afraid of the next step.

Sometimes I'm myopic spiritually, too. I focus on the near things but neglect the far. I put energy into what I am doing right now and lose sight of the big picture. I sometimes think that everything filters through me.

The result is a shallow relationship with God and even less with the lost world. I'm to the point that I'm willing to put everything up for review. No sacred cows in my life. I want God to lead me in an assessment of my personal and professional life, in my family and in my church.

If there is anything myopic I'm willing to let it go. If there is anything useless I am willing to purge it. If there is anything to adjust I am willing to adjust.

I will learn from the past but will not dwell there. I will look to the future to form my present. I will live each day as if I do not survive until tomorrow.

I'll do anything. But I'm not ready for bifocals. Yet.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

National Day of Prayer

Cross Road Baptist Church had a prayer service this morning at 7:00. Attendance was light but the prayer was awesome. I’m expecting another group at Noon. We’ll finish the breakfast snacks from this morning and have awesome prayer again.

The prayer guide provided by NDP includes a prompt to pray for those in authority over us. I struggled with that because I disagree with the core beliefs of our President. If he gets everything (anything, really) he wants, then that will take America away from what I think it ought to be. I am a fiscal conservative and a social conservative. I think taxes should be lower and that government should stop wasting money on needless spending programs including much of what passes as welfare. I think abortion and gay marriage are wrong based on the truth found in the Bible. President Obama and I don’t agree on these issues and many other.

But I am supposed to pray for him. Not just because the prayer guide provided by NDP says so, but because the PRAYER GUIDE provided by God – called the Bible – says so. “Pray for those in authority.” “Honor the King.” “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” Praying for and respecting Barack Obama are required; agreeing with him and hoping he succeeds are not.

So I prayed for him. And I prayed for state leaders who promoted a state lottery and won. I prayed for judges who uphold Roe v. Wade. I prayed for members of Congress who raise taxes and elevate spending and create dependency on the government.

And I prayed that God will bring great revival in my life, for my family and church, and in our country in spite of those who reject him and his truth.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Friday, May 01, 2009

Reaching Talitsa

We are just three weeks away from the mission trip to Talitsa, Russia. Here are some things to pray about.

  • We still have a few logistical details to iron out. Pray that this happens quickly.
  • Pray for the health of our team members: Ed Meux, Shirley Meux, Deana Loyd, Bob Loyd.
  • Pray for safe travel. We will be in an airplane for more than 15 hours each way. The current swine flu outbreak could be a concern.
  • Rusty and Lori Hart (IMB missionaries there) must be out of the country at the time we are there. They have to leave to renew their visas. Their team will take care of us, no doubt.
  • The purpose of this vision trip is to sense what God's purpose is for this partnership. Pray that the team will be able to get a clear vision through their prayer-walking, interacting with locals, and meetings with area Christians.
  • Pray that CRBC will join God at work in Talitsa, Russia.