Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The rotating responsibility, opportunity, and pleasure to preach the message at the Annual Community Thanksgiving Service was mine last night. Since I’ve been at my church for only three years, I’ve not had the chance to do this and it was a great joy. The service is a combined ministry of Martindale Baptist Church (this year’s host), Holly Springs Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church (new to the service this year), and Cross Road Baptist Church. As Larry Walters, pastor of Martindale, has said, “Maybe with four churches we can fill up one building.” We didn’t. But the worship and fellowship were worth the time spent.

My message was based on 1 Corinthians 1:4-9. One of the things Paul was thankful for concerning the believers in Corinth was their salvation. “He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 8). Do you remember when you were a kid and the teacher would try to find out who hid the erasers? Each of us would point at another kid and blame him. We wanted to avoid having the blame laid on us because along with the blame came the punishment.

I could wax eloquent here trying to convince you that I have not and do not do anything wrong. But those of you who know me would quickly point out that lie I was telling. The truth is this: I am a sinner. If God were to go through a list of alleged sins I’ve committed I would have to say that each of them were my fault. I am at fault!

But the Lord Jesus Christ to the blame. And the punishment. My sins will always be my fault but Jesus’ death on the cross will always take the blame.

I am thankful that I am blameless. An old gospel song says, “He looked beyond my fault and saw my need.” I needed forgiveness and redemption because of my sins – my fault. Jesus interceded and met my need.

Will you accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ today? You are at fault, too, but Jesus will take the blame.

Admit you are a sinner.

Believe that Jesus is the son of God and his death on the cross is the only remedy for your sin problem.

Confess Jesus as your Savior and Lord and Commit to live your life to honor him.

If you have just followed these easy steps to becoming a follower of Jesus Christ or would like to know more, please leave a message on this post.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Parenting 101

It’s not that hard. Much of parenting is instinctive. And what kids want the most from their parents is pretty simple to give them. They want you to spend time with them. You’ve figured that out, haven’t you?

When my oldest and middle sons were about 8 and 10 years old, they went with me on the annual church float trip on the Buffalo River in north Arkansas. The oldest, Jim, rode in a canoe with one of our friends and Caleb, the younger one, rode with me. The weather had been rather dry that Spring and floating the river required lots of paddling. At times we even had to push ourselves along the bottom as the water was pretty shallow in places.

By the end of the day, I was wore out. You can imagine how much help an 8-yr-old was.

The next day at church I was complaining about being tired and sunburned and sore. From my perspective, it was an awful float trip.

I overheard Caleb talking about the trip when someone asked him how it was: “It was a great day. I got to ride with my Dad.”

Parenting isn’t so hard. It’s not that expensive. It is a matter of priority and time. That which is important to us gets our time and attention.

I’ve tried to remember that principle ever since that weekend with my boys. Love is spelled T-I-M-E. I think Zig Ziglar first said that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I’ve had my iPhone since early September. A selling point of the iPhone is the hundreds of applications you can load on the phone. Apple and its partners have apps for almost everything from banking to games to recipes to sports scores. A person could spend hours searching through the apps trying to find a few he likes. I’ve found about five dozen. And I’m still looking!

What if we searched so diligently through the Bible to find application for our lives? The search would be much simpler because everything in God’s Word applies to our lives whereas only a few dozen of the thousands of iPhone apps actually apply. The apps on the phone are supposed to make your life so much better and more fun and more productive. The Bible does that perfectly!

The Bible is the perfect application for your life. I have a Bible app on my iPhone. I need to make sure I have a Bible app for my life.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Update on GCR

I've been in favor of a Great Commission Resurgence since the Spring when Danny Akin, Alvin Reid, and Johnny Hunt really began talking it up. Putting more emphasis on the Great Commission is a good thing. As the months have passed and the task force was assembled and meetings held across the country, I've noticed something that disturbs me. The emphasis seems to be on the Cooperative Program while using the words "Great Commission."

The Cooperative Program (CP) is the way Southern Baptists cooperate to fund missions and ministry around the world. Our church gives 10% of our undesignated receipts to CP. This amount goes to our state convention. Of our CP dollars, about 58% stays in Arkansas and the other 42% goes to the national convention where it is disbursed to agencies and boards of the SBC. The convention's six seminaries get part of the money. The International and North American Mission Boards get part fo the money. The training of our young ministers and our support of missionaries world-wide are the most important aspects of CP.

If Southern Baptists want to fulfill the Great Commission, we will be more successful working together and pooling our resources. CP and GC are not synonymous but CP directly impacts GC. It seems that the leaders of the Great Commission Resurgence focus more on CP and less on GC.

A Great Commission Resurgence (GCR) should emphasize reaching the lost whever they are on the planet. A Cooperative Program Resurgence (CPR) should emphasize our stewardship of resources to accomplish the GC.

We need CPR to accomplish GCR. But the two are different issues. Interrelated, but different. Would anybody be against a GCR? Malcolm Yarnell asked that question in response to Johnny Hunt's tweet. Hunt was replying to a story that IMB shortfalls could affect 600 positions. He said, "Why would anyone still oppose a GCR?" GCR and funding are related but not the same thing.

I want to see our churches impact eternity by getting more serious about the Great Commission. In order to do that effectively, we need CPR. But one shouldn't use GCR to rally support for his desire to change. CP.

Again, GCR does not equal CPR. In fact, GCR is not exactly GC.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Deer Season

I bagged my first deer yesterday. Really. Our dog drug up a carcass – complete with everything except the meat. The lazy hunter didn’t dispose of the remains, he just took what he wanted. So I took a large trash bag and, well, I bagged my first deer yesterday.

I used to hunt. I went with my Dad a few times and enjoyed getting out there and listening to the sounds of nature. But I’ve never seen a deer when I had a loaded gun in my hands. I gave up hunting a long time ago. I get it, it’s just not my thing. I’d rather shoot one with a Canon than a rifle.

When I came to Cross Road to meet the people, preach for them, and let them vote on me (we Southern Baptists have some strange rituals!) we had a Q&A time after lunch. Someone asked about my hobbies and I rattled off golf, photography, and travel. A voice from the back of the room said, “Don’t he like to hunt and fish?”

I remember one particular hunting trip when I was a teenager. My Dad and I went with one of his buddies from work, Jack Derreck. Jack reloaded his own ammunition and was proud of his work. He was bragging about it as we walked back to the trucks. When we finally made it, Jack took a handgun from behind the seat of his truck (it was perfectly legal and accepted back then) and demonstrated his craft. He took aim at the nearest STOP sign and pulled the trigger. The bang was loud. But we saw the lead from the shell squirt out the end of the barrel and land about ten feet in front of him. Way short of the target. We all agreed that something was wrong, got in our trucks, and drove off.

That’s my Deer Camp Story. If you are a hunter, I hope you have a great experience this year so you can tell you story, too.

I hope our trash man doesn’t read my blog.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Yard Sale 4 Missions

We had a great day at CRBC. The yard sale started out under cloud cover and the apparent threat of rain. That kept the crowd away. But the skies cleared and the sun came shining through by mid-morning and the shoppers came out in big numbers.

The total amount sold was not so big but we moved a lot of stuff. Over both weekends, we collected almost $1,000 for our 2010 Russia Mission Trip. So many people helped. Most of our families donated items for the sale. Several men and women helped promote, prepare for, and clean up after the event. And so many worked during the hours of the sale.

Hopefully, by Tuesday all the left-overs will be gone - ARC is picking up everything except the furniture. Not only did we raise money for a good cause, but we also will help a worthy cause here in central Arkansas.

Thanks to all of you who helped in some way. When our teams walks the streets of Talitsa next Spring, you will be part of it! To God be the glory.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Day One of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention is behind us and what a day it was. Reports, sermons, and business sessions filled the agenda.

I particularly enjoyed sermons by David Uth, JD Greear, and Emil Turner. I was inspired by reports from Robby Tingle for the Missions Ministries Team and Rex Horne's OBU report.

And you can't beat meeting and catching up with friends. Afterall, the ABSC is a collection of churches and people who want to work together to reach the world for Jesus.