Archive for October, 2007

When God moves in people’s lives, amazing things happen

October 30, 2007

This story from a breakout session this morning reminded me what God can do if we allow Him to move in our lives. What a powerful testimony.

Don and Diana Lane found themselves new to Amarillo, with few possessions after Don’s liver transplant left them with few resources.  Still, the family felt the call to reach out in ministry, and placed their trust in God to show them how this could possibly happen, given their situation.

The family rented an old warehouse in an extremely depressed section of Amarillo, and built a home on the second floor with any scrap materials they could find.  Eventually, they covered windows, so the pigeons no longer laid eggs on Diana’s mattress, and found they had a safe living space.  Seeing the neighborhood kids interested in a family working on rooms in an old building, Don took his last $16 dollars and bought candy for the kids.  They devoured the candy and asked for more. Don realized there was real hunger in this community; both physical and spiritual.

The next week, Don and Diana cooked hot dogs for 60 kids and saw children hiding food to take home for later.  Hunger was clearly the issue here. Immediately after, the couple started the City Kid Café, one of the most innovative outreach programs of it’s kind.  Not knowing where the food would come from, God sent resources in most unlikely ways.  The very first day a Bluebell Ice Cream truck drove up to the door and told Don his refrigeration unit was broken and he wanted to donate his inventory to the café.  Food appeared in this manner frequently until hunger assistance groups, like Feed the Kids, came on line with help.

The ministry grew until the Lane’s could no longer feed all the children in their building; so they began delivering food to over 1,400 kids every week.  They put together volunteer groups of 75 youth and young adults who made the deliveries.  The volunteers came from Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana for weeks at a time to serve; and the ministry is now booked with volunteers for years. (more…)

October 29, 2007

Today the BGCT launched the website I’ve been a part of the team that is developing this site.

It’s a little strange, but I’ve been struggling over what to say about the site that I have worked on, dreamt about, and lived for the last months. I think that’s just because I can’t believe the opportunity I have been given to be a part of this project and I want to make sure any words that come from me about it honor Him.

I think what is, what we’re planning it to be and the potential of the tool that it can become pretty much blows my mind. It’s an on-line missions tool, but it’s so much more to me. It’s a way for people and churches to get connected to needs identified by Texas Baptists and to get connected to each other so that together they can be purposeful about targeting areas of missions burned in their hearts by God.

This morning in a discussion group with young Baptist leaders, David Coffey said that missions and evangelism are impossible without an expression of mercy. I thought about the opportunities on that when you strip them down to the basic purpose, they are expressions of mercy. Tonight, Rick Warren spoke of  assisting the poor, caring for the sick, training leaders, educating the next generation and promoting reconciliation. The opportunities listed on this website will connect people to fulfilling these kinds of needs so their hearts will be open to hearing of the One who can fulfill their spiritual needs.

Please pray for us as we continue to develop this site.  We have a meeting on Monday with key players to talk about the future steps of developing this site. Then we’ll continue working on updating the site with new missions opportunities and features.

This site is for you (and me!) and my hope is that if you feel called to the things we’ve heard about today and haven’t yet found that connection, that will be able to help you to do that…and as we develop the site, that someone looking for a connection will find where you are working and join you in that call to missions.

Here are the details from the official news story.

Wade speaks to messengers

October 29, 2007

Messengers gave Charles Wade a standing ovation as he came to deliver his final Annual Meeting message as executive director. Here is the written document from which he spoke; it may vary in small ways from the actual spoken message:

“To Honor The Lord Himself”
II Corinthians 8:18-21

Rosemary and I have ten grandchildren…seven boys and three girls. Three of the boys have a part of my name. You could say that makes me very happy. Rosemary is generally happy for me about something like that, but a Charles, a Russell, and a Wade got to be a little much when there was no Rosemary or Rose or Mary to be found. Then our third little girl was born and her parents named her Emma Rose. I thought it was the prettiest name I had ever heard. When they told us, both of us cried.

They go to Williams Trace Baptist in Sugarland. Emma Rose has a little friend at Sunday School. They love being together. Last Easter Sunday afternoon, Emma’s friend was walking around in her house thinking about her friend and singing quietly, “Emma Rose, Emma Rose, Emma Rose.” Her five year old brother finally interrupted his little sister by saying, “It wasn’t Emma who rose. It was Jesus who rose!”.

And it’s because Jesus died and rose again that we are all here today. The resurrection of our Lord is the victory we proclaim to all people everywhere, “Because he lives, you can live also!” John 14:19 (more…)

Messengers approve budget

October 29, 2007

The messengers approved the proposed budget by a 2-1 margin. Some questions were asked and Gary Morgan, pastor of the Cowboy Church of Ellis County voice displeasure over the cuts in the missions, evangelism and ministry team.

Fenner elected president

October 29, 2007

Joy FennerDavid Lowrie 840… 48.5%

Joy Fenner 900… 51.5%

Read news story here.

Bob Fowler’s Executive Board report

October 29, 2007

Bob Fowler has just brought the Executive Board report. His comments included the following (I have typed it quickly from a written version, so any typos are mine.):

“Ladies and gentlemen, it has been my privilege to serve your Executive Board as its chair for the past two years. My term as chair will be completed as of the end of this annual meeting. It is hard to describe to you the progress that your reorganized executive board has made since its first meeting in February of last year. …

“Our staff has learned how to relate to a board and we have been demanding of our staff. We have challenged information from our staff, yet we have worked harmoniously with it. Our votes have not always been unanimous. Discussion and dissent have been encouraged and received.

“As you are well aware, your Executive Board has dealt with a major crisis during its initial year. We have sought to be responsive to you. There have been rough spots, but with God’s help we have continued to address what we have been charged by you and by the state of Texas with doing. Our actions have clearly not pleased one hundred percent of Texas Baptists. That is not the job of this board. Some have even suggested that our failure to act in the way they would have us act constitutes dereliction of duty. I think, instead, failure to act independently and failure to use our best judgment in making decisions would, in fact, have been dereliction of our duty to you.

“Nevertheless, last year your valid concern arose as to what our relationship with the will of this body should be. It was odd, I might suggest, for that question to have arisen over the issue of whether we should be compelled to something that we had just, in fact, voted to do and therefore legally committed ourselves and your executive director to do. Nevertheless, we know that there was a valid issue of your right to compel us to do so.”

Bob then read the following statement adopted by the board:

Statement of Understanding
Adopted by the BGCT Executive Board
February 27, 2007

The Executive Board understands and confirms that it has always considered itself to be a “servant board.” It understands that it exists to serve Texas Baptists, the churches, and the messengers to the Convention’s Annual Meeting.

This Board understands that it has no power or authority except to the extent messengers have delegated it authority under the Convention’s Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, and Bylaws, and as the messengers may further direct it to act.

This Board recognizes that certain duties delegated to it by the Convention and under its governing documents are so-delegated because they can be handled by the Board acting as a smaller body with more available time to consider and to act, and, in some cases, with a greater degree of confidentiality, if appropriate.

The Board understands its role to be that of a steward. The Executive Board regrets the parliamentary ruling at the 2006 Annual Meeting. This Board does not intend in any way for its actions prior to an Annual Meeting to “preempt” the role of messengers. Rather, this Board seeks to perform its duties faithfully between annual meetings.

President nominations

October 29, 2007

David Lowrie and Joy Fenner were the only two people nominated for president. The results will be announced as soon they are available, expected to be within a couple of hours.

A look into the annual meeting

October 28, 2007

We’ll be posting photos from various annual meeting events throughout the next several days. Check them out on the Flickr feed on the right or by clicking on the annual meeting web site. Hopefully they’ll help folks outside of Amarillo see a bit of what the annual meeting is like.

TBM looking for volunteers

October 28, 2007

During TBM’s rally, disaster relief coordinator Gary Smith indicated TBM is looking for volunteers to serve as part of clean-out crews in the wake of the wildfires in California. For more information, call 888-244-9400.

A note from Gary Cook

October 28, 2007

Updates on DBU President Gary Cook continue on the school’s site. The latest is from Gary himself. Here’s an excerpt:

October 26, 2007

A Note from Dr. Cook