Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Church Planting

I will be in a meeting today talking about church planting with other pastors from around our state. We hope to develop a network that will assist smaller churches like Cross Road to be involved. So many times when I mention planting a church I get responses like “What can we do?” or “We don’t have enough money” or “That takes more people than we have.” I’m hoping to rebut those responses by joining with other churches to start churches.

Cross Road won’t have to come up with the resources alone. We can partner with other churches of various sizes. Our people can experience church planting! So I’m looking forward to today’s meeting and to the Great Commission ministry that will grow from it.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I believe in the biblical principle of tithing. In short, tithing is my acknowledgement that God owns all things, is worthy of my worship, and knows my needs better than I do. A tithe is 10% of your gain. It is based on gross income. It includes investment income. It includes gifts. It goes to the local church. It goes into the general budget fund.

A church made up of tithers is a church made up of maturing Christians.

When a Christian does not tithe he is showing his lack of faith in God.

The church can fully fund needed staff positions, ministry projects, missions trips, etc., through the tithe. The reason churches have to conduct fund raisers and have designated accounts is to fund projects the tithe should fund.

Do you tithe? For all pastors, I say “Thank you.”

Do you not tithe? Why not? Do you not believe God owns all things? Do you not believe God is worthy of your worship (tithing is an act of worship)? Do you not believe that God knows your needs better than you do?

Deana and I began exceeding the tithe many years ago. A few times throughout the year we increase our giving by $5 or $10 per week and maintain that new level of giving. I really cannot tell you what percentage we currently give because we increase our tithe like this. I’ve heard of others who increase their tithe annually by 1%. Over many years they are now giving well above the tithe, too. People with practices like these, including my family, can testify to God’s abundant blessings. I will not tell you that our income skyrockets when we are faithful, but I will tell you that God’s blessings come in many different packages – and his blessings always come.

I challenge you to be a tither.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Doubling Up

Hard times have set in at the Loyd household. We are able to buy groceries and make the car payments. The church provides a house and utilities. But for the third budget in a row, they won’t be able to increase their financial support. Deana and I feel like we’ve been pretty good stewards during this time by reducing our spending and eliminating or doing without some extras. But it’s been tight. So I’m looking for a job to provide additional income.

The main reason we need to do this is because we elected to put Riley back into private school this year. He attended Arkansas Baptist Elementary School for K4-K5. When I became pastor of CRBC I no longer had a secular job so we couldn’t afford to keep him there. Now, after three years of cutting back, a paid-in-full loan payment we’ve had for a few years, and the start of a tuition discount for pastors, we are pretty close to being able to put him back in ABES. So we did it.

Now I’m looking for a second job to make sure we are able to cover the tuition payments. So far, the best prospect is substitute teaching at ABES. The superintendent was pleading with parents to apply so maybe I’ll get all the days I need. Not even sure what it pays. Hopefully, I’ll have an interview soon and start before long.

That’s a prayer request. And a praise.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Healthy Living

How many times have I written about this? So many that you probably roll your eyes. I get it. But I’ve decided to start living healthy. As a matter of fact, I’ve lost about 5 pounds this week. I need to stay on an aggressive weight-loss plan because I have a lot to lose. I don’t want to take three years to lose it. I want to lose it quickly – I understand the problems with quick weight-loss – and I want to change my eating and exercise habits so that I can maintain a healthy body weight.

So far, I’ve only changed my diet. And that by only a little. I’m snacking much less than before. I’ve substituted my regular high calorie, high fat lunch with a large portion of raw vegetables. I eat celery, cucumber, bell pepper, and carrots for lunch. I’m eating a better supper. I’ve been good at breakfast for quite a while. My main problem is eating when I’m away from the house. Too many fast food value meals.

So I need to stay with my breakfast and lunch plans, do better at supper, and stay away from fast food restaurants. And add daily exercise.

I’ll post updates from time to time. Pray for me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Memphis Pastors Conference

I like good preaching. I like good teaching. We got some of both at the Pastors Conference hosted by Steve Gaines a Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis. I wish the part on apologetics would have drilled down a little deeper. We heard the Why is Apologetics Needed? and the What is Apologetics? but I sure could use a little help with the How do You do Apologetics? Guess I’ll have to add some books to my reading list.

The best part of the day was the fellowship with other pastors. Twenty-one guys from Pulaski Baptist Association and 11 from Faulkner Baptist Association road together on a bus provided by Geyer Springs First Baptist Church. That was a lot of fun. Every time we get together you can count on some clowning around, some deep discussions, and world-problem solving.

Thanks to Danny, Larry, Doug, and Jeff for making this possible.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

First Day

Today is Riley’s first day of 4th grade. He’s done the “first day” thing several times now but today was a little different. He says he doesn’t like school. That’s different. Riley has always liked school and the first day has been a time for excitement and surprises. I go to pick him up in less than two hours. We’ll see how he liked it.

I think the issue Riley is dealing with is two-fold. This is his 6th first day, counting K4 and K5. It’s old hat. The flair is gone. He’s seen it all, he thinks. Have you ever grown complacent in your relationship with God and his people?
“It’s just another Sunday.”
“Is it time for another revival already?”
“Can’t I just take a break from teaching my class for a while?”
“Please don’t ask me to help on this project.”
Complacency is your own failure to see the excitement in something. Bottom line, it’s the result of lagging behind the Lord in your daily walk.

Riley’s second issue may also inflict church-goers. He’s been hearing from other kids that school is no fun. He’s starting to believe it. And if he acts upon those beliefs, reality will fall right in line. School wont’ be fun if you know it’s not going to be fun. Do you know anyone who thinks about church like this? One sour attitude attracts others like a dead ‘possum attracts vultures. And I mean to draw parallels in just about all the ways you can think! Going to church is a terrible experience when you hang out with others who think the same thing. Sitting through a service is boring (I can’t stand the way people use that term to describe what is really their own lack of desire to get involved) when you sit back and do nothing.

Yes, it is true that God doesn’t change, but the depths of his character is beyond our ability to completely research during a lifetime. The Bible says his mercies are new every morning; so I believe each worship experience can be new and fresh even though you been to hundreds of them. You can listen to people who have a poor walk with Jesus, you can make up your mind before you get here, or you can come to church this weekend like it’s the first day.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The last week or so has been a span of hot, hot days. Temps reached 100+ and humidity was off the scale. But a front passed through yesterday and immediately the temperature and humidity were much lower. I think we all praised the Lord for the relief.

The transition between the hot weather and the cooler weather was accompanied by a storm. As the comforting air collides with the stifling air, a storm brews. The comforting air always wins.

Seems like this is the way our troubles are, too. At least my storms always seem to be the transition from turmoil to calm. The most difficult times in my life have been when I realized I needed to be closer to the Lord. God has always waited patiently for me and Satan has always put obstacles in the way. The result: epic storms.

Some people are afraid of storms. I understand that, but don’t be afraid of the storms that usher in the peace of God. Change is uncomfortable but what God’s Spirit will change you into is worth it.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


I spent about 90 minutes on a Facebook chat with a man who graduated from the same high school that I did but several years earlier. We didn’t really know each other but through a sequence of posts on Facebook we began the chat.

Regarding religion, he is Buddhist, it anything. He leaned that way but really didn’t believe anything.

I’m Christian and unashamedly so.

The chat was interesting.

I talked about salvation in Jesus Christ alone. He said he could embrace Christianity except for the part about Jesus being God. The problem is that you can’t be Christian and not believe that.

My friend was home in Arkansas for just a short time then returned overseas to teach. We had no contact since then.

I learned that he died earlier this week. To my knowledge, he had not embraced Jesus Christ for salvation. I hope there is something I don’t know and that he and I can strike up a friendship in heaven for eternity.

I learned something a year ago. Everyone wants love, forgiveness, and redemption. They may not know how to express that desire but that is an inner longing.

I learned something this week. The need to share the gospel with all people is an urgent need. Time is short. Eternity awaits us all.