Archive for October, 2008

‘Living Kits’ for victims of Hurricane Ike

October 21, 2008

The headlines are long gone, but Southeast Texas residents continue recovering from Hurricane Ike. The BGCT church architcture department has contacted or is contacting as many as 110 congregations in the area that have been affected by the storm.

Recovery is a step-by-step process taken day after day. To support them, they need our daily prayers. They also need some tangible help.

One of the ways Texas Baptists can help is by putting together a “Living Kit.” FEMA is attempting to send 5,000 living kits that include basic supplies for FEMA mobile homes going into the area. Contents of living kits include:

  • Cleaning supplies – 1 broom, 1 push broom, 1 mop, 1 bucket, 1 bottle each of disinfectant and bleach, 1 pair of rubber gloves
  • Seven (7) piece cookware set including 1 quart covered saucepan, 2 quart covered saucepan, 4 quart Dutch Cover Oven, 8.5 oz or larger sauté pan,
  • 1 Coffee Maker
  • Sixteen (16) piece drink ware set, consisting of 8-16 oz tumblers
  • Sixteen (16) piece dish set including 4 dinner plates, 4 bread and butter plates, 4 bowls, and 4 coffee mugs
  • Three (3) bath towel sets – A total of 6 bath towels, 6 hand towels, and 6 wash clothes
  • Three (3) “bed in the bag” full size sets including comforter, 2 pillow cases, fitted sheet, flat sheet, l
  • Three (3) light cotton blankets
  • Eight (8) sets of 5 piece place sets. Each set includes two spoons, two forks, one knife
  • Six (6) pillows
  • Three (3) dishtowels
  • One (1) one battery operated flashlight with batteries
  • One (1) weather radio (State approved)
  • New or gently used Bibles, tracts and/or scripture books  
  • For more information about Living Kits, click here.


    October 20, 2008

    “Why did God allow this to happen?”

    Yeah, it’s a dreaded question for me, or at least has been. That is a tough question to answer when talking with a friend who is suffering.

    While hunting recently I had a long opportunity to ponder. One of the things I like about hunting is that it gives me a lot of time to think and reflect on God while in nature. (For the record, I was bow hunting.) Sitting there, still, my thoughts returned to above question and ideas about God seemed to fall into place for my answer.

    God allows everything to happen. God allows your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe. God allows children to laugh and grow. God allows life He created to exist. God also, through infinite love, allows sin. This sin, the separation from God, is what causes the pain, the suffering, the loss.

    So yes, God does allow our situations, but did not intend for us to experience pain – that was and is our own choice. 

    Good questions

    October 20, 2008

    I tend to ask a lot of questions, so I’ve come to appreciate good ones. First Baptist Church in Rockport is asking some good ones. The congregation is going through some long-term strategic planning efforts and last night they asked their congregation a series of questions that would seem to applicable to any congregation.

    How would your church answer these questions?

    Discovery Night Questions

    1.  How do you see God moving in our community?  In our church?

    2. What role do you see First Baptist Church playing in that movement?

    3. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus gives us the “Great Commission,” stating, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have comanded you.”  How will we know that we have followed Jesus’ commission and are making disciples?

    4. What in our hearts needs to change for us to mature as disciples of Christ?

    5. What will attract people like you to our church?

    6. Who do you see that we are not reaching?

    7. What is important to you at First Baptist Church?

    8. Where do you see a healthy, thriving First Baptist Church in 2009?

    9.  Where do you see a healthy, thriving First Baptist Church in years to come?

    Praying for the lost and the hungry

    October 20, 2008

    In order to share the gospel and reach each person in Texas, Christians must be praying for the people around them. Jane Wilson, who co-chairs the Texas Hope 2010 prayer team, says it excellently when she describes the relationship between prayer and evangelism:

    “We learn from Scripture that apart from vital union with Christ we can do nothing of eternal significance. Great movements of God are always the result of individuals, churches and cities being saturated with prayer. Texas will know Christ when Texans seek His face.”

    To undergird Texas Hope 2010, an initiative to share the gospel with every non-Christian in the state by Easter 2010, the Baptist General Convention of Texas is attempt to recruit at least 100,000 people who will pray daily at noon for the hungry and the lost in the state.

    To join the prayer team, visit Together, we can reach the state for Christ, according to Gus Reyes, the other co-chair of the Texas Hope 2010 prayer team.

    “We are attempting to rally 100,000 people to pray every day at noon for the lost and the hungry. Scripture teaches that prayer lays the foundation for evangelism. It opens avenues for us as believers to boldly share our faith. By pulling together Christians across the state in prayer, we hope to lay the groundwork for revival in the state by Easter 2010.”

    If you like to run, this link is for you

    October 20, 2008

    Jennifer Harris, who works for the Missouri Word & Way, likes to run. A lot. And by a lot, I mean she seems to run all the time. I think she’s now training for her second marathon.

    Her personal blog is shares her training journey. Her latest post is outstanding. I’m not going to spoil the story for you, but if you like to run or you just like to read about God working in unusual ways, click here. You won’t be disappointed.

    A great Christmas opportunity

    October 16, 2008

    I’m going to go ahead and leak this today on the blog. In a little while, we’ll share it more broadly. I just think this is too good of an idea to wait to share.

    Tomi Grover, who leads the BGCT’s Local Transformational Missions office, passed this note to me today. It looks like a great opportunity for a church looking for a Christmas project.

    The convention is partnering with Angel Tree Ministries to offer $250 to any BGCT church that is willing to host an Angel Tree. The Angel Tree program enables people to purchase Christmas presents for children of prisoners.

    “Our hope is that the children and their families can connect with your Church and experience the grace of God in action as they receive their gifts,” Tomi said. “The children of prisoners have been blessed in the past by churches who have participated, and we hope your Church is willing to serve these innocent victims of crime as well.”

    For more information on how to apply for the one time grant, e-mail Tomi at

    Budget summary and proposal posted online

    October 16, 2008

    Some around the blogosphere have been looking for a copy of the proposed 2009 BGCT budget. It has been posted at There you can find the budget summary and the budget proposal. If you’re wanting to print the detailled budget proposal, I’m just going to warn you that it’s 87 pages.

    If you have any questions about the budget, feel free to call the BGCT accounting staff at 888-244-9400. They’ll help you however they can.

    In their words: Non-Christian experiences with Christianity

    October 16, 2008

    In the past few days, we’ve been talking a lot about what statistics say non-Christians think about the church. Today, let’s here it in their own words.

    During the summer, we asked one of our interns, Carrie, to hit the streets of Dallas and ask people about their experience with the church and spirituality. The video below is the result. Many thanks to Joshua, who edited it.

    I was shocked that people talked to Carrie. More than that, I was amazed how open and direct they were. Their words are extremely poignant. I’d be curious what you think. Do you think this is the typical response people have to Christianity? If so, we need to change it.

    ETBU ‘Dub’s new president

    October 15, 2008

    Here’s the info on ETBU’s new president-elect, named earlier today:

    MARSHALL – The East Texas Baptist University Board of Trustees elected Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver as its next president.

    The announcement came from ETBU Board of Trustees Chairman Hal Cornish after a special called trustee meeting Wednesday afternoon. Oliver will succeed current president Bob Riley who is retiring effective July 16, 2009 after 17 years at the helm.

    Oliver currently serves as the vice president for student life at Baylor University. He has served in various positions and has been employed at Baylor for 16 years. Oliver will join ETBU as its 12th president effective June 1, 2009.

    “After an extensive nationwide search, Dr. Dub Oliver comes to ETBU very highly recommended to lead this university as its next president,” Cornish said. “His credentials as a senior administrator are very extensive and impressive. In his current position, he is responsible for over 14,000 students and supervises a staff of over 500 people.”


    Texas Baptists work together to bring Hope to the Poor

    October 15, 2008

    Today is Blog Action Day for poverty and we want the blogging world to know that Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger gifts support relief and development ministries across the world!

    Find more information about how your donations help by clicking on the related areas:

    North America
    South America
    Middle East

    The Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger website,, contains information about the offering, has a prayer guide, prayer calendar and resources for your church.

    Also, keep checking out the website because new TBOWH resources are coming soon for 2009.

    If you have any questions concerning the offering, please contact Joyce Gilbreath at, 888.244.9400 or if you are in the DFW area you may call her at 214.828.5172.