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Out of my comfort zone

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This past Sunday was a different kind of Sunday than most any I've known.  The early service was pretty much normal.  But the later one. . . .well, that was different.  Let's go back and talk about why. 
Several months ago, we negotiated with Matthew West's management to have him here at FBC Midland on the morning after he appeared at Rock the Desert the night before.  We envisioned it to be a cap to a fantastic weekend and a chance to worship with our friends who were with us from across the area and across the state.  One element about it that came in late was the idea of adding an interview with Matthew on stage.  I volunteered for the job, but not because I considered myself fully qualified for it or because I have a lot of experience in it.  Truthfully, I felt like I needed to do it out of obedience to the Lord's call as pastor here.  I wasn't about to give that role away. . . .even if I wasn't terribly comfortable doing it.  Put me before a crowd - regardl…

Summer Reading

I've always loved to read.  When I was little and first learning to read, my parents made two mistakes: (1) Buying me a membership in a book club and (2) giving me a flashlight.  When used well together, it made for a some fine late night reading!  Strangely enough, when I would fall asleep reading with the flashlight on, I would wake up the next morning with my book and light on the night stand.  Not a word was said about it esp in the summer.  When the summer would come, I was allowed to expand my reading to things other than school stuff - usually sports related stories or hot-rod magazines.  But always - ALWAYS - reading.

That hasn't change at all.  Each day, I read the Wall St Journal.  Like I once did with the sports page or the comics, I now turn to their book review in the editorial section.  It has become my "go-to" source for finding new reading material and it has not disappointed yet.  It leads me to stuff I would never find.  And that's what I just f…

A poem to go with our summer series

One of our church family members recently wrote a poem about Hebrews that I wanted to share with you.  Alice and Dick Brown are members of FBC.  This poem reflects Ms Alice's passion for Jesus and His Word.  I hope it blesses you as much as it did me. 

A Journey Through Hebrews.   by Alice Brown
Oh that we would understand That God from long ago Revealed himself in many ways That men might clearly know This God who calls them to Himself, But man did fail to show Devotion to His loving voice And his own way did go
So God then came in human form, Christ Jesus was his name-- Sustainer, Heir and Perfect Sacrifice, Yes, God, always the same. Now seated on His holy throne Revealed to man that we proclaim This God who came to us That all might know His fame.
Through sin we lost our glory But Jesus won it back. Through selfless pain and suffering He gave what we now lack-- His righteousness, redemption, By His own saving act-- A great high priest who knows our pain. And that a holy fact.
His Word now testifies A…

Baptizing my son

It's July 8th.  Before day, there's been nothing really spectacular about that day.  But there is now.  Seven years ago, when Josh was born, I began praying for today, asking that my son would some day come to love Jesus and want to serve Him.  I have never prayed for the Lord to call Josh into ministry but I pray for him to love the Lord and want to serve him using whatever skills he has.  My prayers for his salvation were answered and now for his baptism!  What a great kid! 

I was asked - after the baptism - how I held my composure on such a big day at such a big moment.  Two things helped - (1) Although I've baptized many people in 20 years of being a pastor, I spent time rehearsing because I knew this was no ordinary baptism.  I didn't trust my emotions.  I was concerned they would run away with me.  So I rehearsed a speech I've given hundreds of times.  It wasn't that I didn't know what to say or how to say it.  I just had never used it on my own son. …

Random Question: "Why the moniker Dr. D?"

Sometimes people will ask how I settled on the moniker Dr D or ask why I carry such a pretentious title.  In the interest of clarity, here's my multi-faceted answer. 

(1) Go with me back to my childhood.  I wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer (some things never change, do they?).  But my mom consistently encouraged me to not settle for less than the best I could do, no matter what that was.  She never went to college nor did my dad, but for them, education was a highly prized asset.  While they didn't tell me how far they wanted me to go in school, they wanted me to give it my best lick.  When I went to Dallas Baptist, they were thrilled when I graduated.  When I went to Southwestern Seminary for my masters, they were excited for me.  While I don't think either of them really understood why I wanted to do doctoral work, they were so very proud that I did.  I keep a picture in my doctoral diploma frame that I took on the day I received it.  The picture is just of th…

Friday-Sunday

Forgive the slow nature of my report on this - it was a wild ride the last couple of days.

Friday morning, we got up and left to make the 3 hour drive back to Nairobi.  At home, the trip might be about 2 hours (about the same distance as to Abilene) but the roads and traffic in Kenya make it longer.  The best part was the company in the truck with me.  Trena and Jim Mroczko are some serious rock stars!  I tried to think of someone I would drive 3 hours to pick up, drive them 3 hours back home and then repeat that less than 48 hours later - I could name only a couple.  I'm deeply grateful for their kindness and their hospitality.  Their work at His Cherished Ones Children's Home is amazing.  There's a solid reason we at FBC partner with them.  I can promise you they are doing some incredible work.  In Keyna, sadly, it's not uncommon for babies to be abandoned.  It's happened at least 89 times in the last 10 years since they were formed.  With a staff of 20, His Cher…

Wednesday and Thursday - Nairobi

Now that was an extraordinary day!When I got up Wednesday in Adama, it was our last day of the conferences.We had a good crowd and the spirit of the meeting was strong as we started.Today was the day we were doing a crash course in basic systematic theology.My assignment was to lay the ground work for the discussion and begin the conversation with a discussion of the doctrine of God.I took more time than was allotted to me – I’m not proud of that – but a good portion of that was answering questions and discussing how this applied in their daily life and service to the church and their people.It was time well spent.I’m pleased at the questions they were asking.Clearly, they have sharp minds – they just haven’t really taken the time to challenge themselves mentally.Or maybe they’ve never had the opportunity.Or maybe this WAS their opportunity and they were eager to have it.At any rate, they were eager and willing students and I was deeply grateful for the opportunity to talk with them …