Archive for July, 2009

God at Work

July 31, 2009

It was Friday afternoon at the Cambodian Fellowship meeting in Houston. The women were gathered for tranining and the topic was prayer and giving. A woman came in late and had to sit on the front row which is always uncomfortable at a Baptist gathering. At the end of the afternoon session we learned more of her story.

She was Japanese and had been driving down the road by the church, saw cars in the parking lot, and came in to investigate. When she learned the women were being taught she joined the group. She said to the teacher who taught on prayer, “My church prays but I don’t know how to pray in my heart. What you said helps me know how to pray in my heart.”

We learned from her experience that God is working whether we see it or not. He knows what He wants to accomplish in our lives. He wanted this Japanese woman to learn to pray “in her heart” so He brought her to a Cambodian church to learn. What an awesome God!

Lowrie to seek second term

July 31, 2009

Marv Knox over at the Baptist Standard is reporting David Lowrie will seek a second term as BGCT president. For the story, click here.

Not Interested

July 30, 2009

Occasionally, when I am out doing door to door visits in the community, someone will come to the door and spew these words in my face:  “I’m not interested.”  That always mystifies me.  I wonder what they are not interested in.  As I have gotten braver, I have asked them, but they are usually so stunned by my question that they just slam the door.  Reflecting on these encounters I figure that the person at the door is not uninterested in love or friendship, grace or forgiveness, peace or mercy, purpose or hope, eternal life or abundant life.

No, I believe they are cold to what they see paraded as religion.  I believe they are not interested in hypocrisy or judgmentalism or legalism.  I believe they are not interested in keeping up apprearances or in living by some hollow and unfruitful tradition that does not appear to have any meaning.  I believe they are not interested in habitually coming to a place on Sundays that seems to have no relevance to their lives today.

We must be careful to project the correct images to the world.  Are we revealing Christ?  Are we loving with His love?  Are we living by His power?  Are we embracing by His grace?  Are we healing by His touch?  Are we reconciling by His unity?  Are we redeeming by His mercy?  Are we restoring by His resurrection? Are we forgiving by His compassion?

I don’t blame the door-answerers.  Neither am I interested in a false religion, a reflection of Phariseeism.  Nor am I interested in robotically playing church.

Mark 7:5-8
So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live* according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips,
   but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
   teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’

Prayer
Father, we pray to be true to who you are in your Son Jesus.  We pray to represent Him accurately as we live, love and serve in His Name.  Amen

250,000 gospel CDs land in El Paso

July 29, 2009

elpaso1Texas Baptists have always been about attempting large things for the Lord, things we aren’t capable of doing on our own. Things that require God’s help for us to accomplish them. Texas Hope 2010 is latest in those series of things.

Through Texas Hope 2010, Texas Baptists have set their sights on putting Scripture in every Texas home. On Monday, we saw the first physical evidence of this dream of Scripture distribution coming true when more than 250,000 multimedia gospel CDs landed in El Paso. That’s one for every household in the county. And it’s the starting place for the Scripture distribution. Why start there? Here’s what Randel says:

“El Paso was an obvious place to for us to launch the Scripture distribution phase of Texas Hope 2010 because of the great opportunities and the great need. We have wonderful churches in El Paso and a mixed community ethnically, large student and military populations and strategic location adjoining Juarez, a city where there has been significant recent violence. We are praying that God will use this gospel tool to transform lives and entire communities.”

In the weeks and months ahead, Texas Baptists will be busy getting God’s word into homes across the state. There will be a lot of activity. There will a lot of conversations. There will be a lot of evangelistic efforts.

And hopefully all of it will be filled with God. I encourage you to pray for the evangelistic efforts of Texas Baptists each day as we as the BGCT staff do as well. Texas Baptists want to see this state grow closer to Christ. We want to be God’s hands and feet in that effort. Please join with me in praying that we as Texas Baptists can do that.

Howard Payne names new president

July 29, 2009

Yesterday, Howard Payne announced it has a new president. Who is it? Click here to find out.

So HPU alums, what do you think of the selection?

The power of prayer

July 23, 2009

First Baptist Church in Grapevine recently completed 168 uninterrupted hours of prayer. Pastor Mike Mowery shares his thoughts on the experience here on his blog.

Bringing hope to Encinal

July 23, 2009

In many places across the state, churches dot the community. Here, there are people but no regular church for them to worship in.

That soon will change.

The Laredo Baptist Association is attempting to start a new church in a town that’s largest congregation meets once a month and serves 10 people. Laredo Association Director of Missions Mario Garcia believes that will change if a congregation with a daily presence is started in the community.

As he ministers in the town and builds relationships with people there, he hears a familiar refrain: people want to hear the gospel, they want to worship God, but there is nowhere to do it regularly.

“There is no active church,” Garcia said. “There are a lot of people that are lost. The people are desperate to hear something.”

Garcia envisions the new congregation will be a rallying point for the community. The mayor already has been involved. Garcia hopes that congregation will one day partner with the school.

Though still in its infancy, Garcia believes the congregation will be key in sharing the hope of Christ with Encinal. The effort is part of the association’s participation in Texas Hope 2010, a Baptist General Convention of Texas initiative to share the gospel with every Texan by Easter 2010.

“Our goal is to reach people for Christ and share the gospel with every person we can,” Garcia said. “This is our field. This is our responsibility: to share the gospel with our community.”

Looking for employment in the Dallas area?

July 23, 2009

This may be a good opportunity. What you see is what I know, but a new Christian caregiver organization is being launched in Plano. Called Heritage Keepers, it is seeking to hire about 20 Christian caregivers who will help take care of senior adults.

I know a lot of people are looking for work right now. If this fits what you believe you are called to do, contact them via the ways they list at the end of their press release. Here’s the release:

New In-home Care Company Launched In Dallas Area

PLANO – Heritage Keepers In-Home Senior Care is now serving clients in the Dallas area and is actively seeking to hire up to 20 caregivers in the next 30 days.

“We are so excited to be able to provide an opportunity for employment during this economic downturn.  While many areas of the economy are shrinking, in-home care for senior adults is on the rise,” states Tom Brewster, CEO of Heritage Keepers.

The model for Heritage Keepers is similar to other in-home care companies in that their services will include companion, homemaking, and personal care, but the company officers are quick to point out that Heritage Keepers will be unique in this industry because they will provide these services in a Christian environment. 

“There are other in-home care companies in this area, but our passion is to make an eternal spiritual impact on our clients.  We see this business as a ministry to a group of people that, while they may still be very active in the community, may need some assistance to maintain a quality of life that will allow them to enjoy these years and continue to be vital members of their community.  We all need help from time to time and if we at Heritage Keepers can make even a small positive impact in someone’s life, then we have been successful.”

If you would like more information about Heritage Keepers, you can email them at inhomecare@heritagekeepers.net or log onto their website at www.heritagekeepers.net.

For employment opportunities you can forward your resume to caregivers@heritagekeepers.net.

Someone knows your name

July 22, 2009

DSC_0251“Hi Corey. What flavor sno-cone would you like today?”

Corey looked at the girl behind the counter and tilted his head.

“You know my name?” he said.

“Yes,” the young teenager said. “I remember you came to church here last year.”

“You remember me?” Corey asked.

“Of course I do.”

“Grape,” he said, as a contagious smile filled his face and he walked away to tell his buddy that the sno-cone lady knew who he was.

As adults, we take for granted that people know who we are. When we wake up, we have our family. When we go to work, we have our coworkers. When we go out, we have our friends. We forget how special it is that people know our name.

Corey reminded me of this. His spirit was lifted when he discovered that someone knew his name. That someone remembered who he was.  Just imagine how Corey will feel when one day he truly understands that someone even greater than that teenage girl knows his name.

It’s easy to forget how awesome it feels that the King of the world knows us by name and he loves us. Like Corey, we should want to tell our buddies about the hope we’ve been restored with because of who we know as our personal Savior and friend.

Sometimes it’s the simplicity in life that reminds us of the complexity of Him.

I was privelaged to have been reminded of this when I went to City Church in Amarillo yesterday and observed the volunteers and children at the church’s summer feeding program. The congregation is doing all it can to share Christ with kids by caring for them so the door opens for telling the kids about Jesus’ love. City Church delivers 2,500 meals to children five days a week and provides weeks of Bible lessons and activities to bring hope to children across the city.

What hope we have that Christ loves us and knows us by name!

Who’s going to fill their shoes?

July 22, 2009

An old hypothetical asks “Who’s going to fill their shoes?” First Baptist Church in Harlingen prefers to ask another question: Who will provide the shoes for their feet?

According to KGBT 4, the congregation is seeking to collect 200,000 pairs of shoes, socks and shoestrings for orphans around the globe. This is the fourth year the church has done a shoe drive like this in partnership with BGCT-affiliated Buckner International.


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