Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A sad duty

Most of my work as pastor is a joy. I love what I do, most of the time. That said, when I have to lay a friend to rest, like we did today with Luther Ray Doughty, it's a difficult and sad duty.

Luther Ray was one of the first visits I made when I got here. He and I became fast friends, esp given that he reminded me so much of my dad. I never told him that, a fact I wish I could change. As Luther Ray's health deteriorated, the once strong, independent man who loved to fish and mow his yard got to where breathing was difficult. When I saw him last on Friday of last week, quietly I asked the Lord to let him come home. Mercifully, the Lord answered that prayer the next day.

Luther Ray's passing was sad and a difficult part of my job - but made much easier in knowing he's no longer suffering and no longer sick - he's at home with the Lord and all the other fishermen. Please pray for his wife, Lorraine, his daughter, Cindy and his son, Todd as well as their families.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mission Trip Meeting this Sunday afternoon

We're calling a mission trip meeting for this Sunday afternoon to get our heads together about Mission Frankston for this year. It'll be here before we know it! We've got five potential projects to choose from and at least one them is a matter of urgency. I hope you'll consider taking part in Mission Frankston this year. We're scheduled to work from Friday, Nov 21 until Wednesday, Nov 26. Check your calendar!
In honor of mission work, here's the video (can't remember if we ever showed it before) from Mission Trip 2008 to Harlingen. Make sure to stick around for the end with the footage of Hurricane Dolly!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Church Persecution is alive and well

Church persecution is something many people think is dead and gone. According to this story, you'd better think again.

Once an Apple guy, always an Apple guy



For those who aren't aware of it, I'm an Apple "Mac" Computers guy. In 1995, I started a job that demanded I use a Mac. I've not been without one since then (except for a short time when Mac was struggling in the late 1990's). I've soared recently as they've done better and better with the iPhone, the iPod and, of course, our beloved Mac laptops and desktops. Is there anything more comforting than sitting down to a Mac? Not to me! It's come as no surprise, therefore, as Mac has taken more and more market-share from iconic Microsoft that they're battling back and spending big bucks to do it, even hiring Jerry Seinfeld as their spokesperson (here's the link to the full story).





What's their selling point? We're cheaper! When I was growing up, my parents taught me that cheaper isn't always better. Sometimes, it's worth it to purchase something that costs more to get the quality you need. In my estimation, Apple Computers are worth the extra money! Go Apple!
Signed,
the Apple fanboy in me

Update on Luther Ray Doughty

Many of you have inquired as to Mr. Doughty's well-being. He's resting comfortably at the Home Place Hospice Center near the UT-Tyler campus in southeast Tyler. I spent about an hour with he and his family yesterday and found him to be alert sometimes despite the medication they're using to keep him comfortable. His illness will be his gateway to the presence of the Lord, but clearly the Lord isn't ready for him yet.

I've heard a rumor the family doesn't want visitors. I'm not sure who started it, but it isn't true. They welcome friends, new and old, to share time with Luther Ray. If you go, however, please refrain from speaking about people who have died from the same kind of illnesses (yes, I've known people who are that insensitive). Go and show love to Luther Ray, his wife Lorraine, their daughter Cindy and their son Todd. Pray for this precious family during this difficult season of life.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cha-CHING!

That's my response to the previous post "What to do?" Speaking strictly for myself and not as pastor, I would take the $600,000 offering and put it WORK for the glory of God. The heart intent is God's greatest concern and clearly the giver in that story was trying to express his gratitude to God for the financial windfall. My thought is that I don't want to be the Pharisee who tells him God doesn't want his dirty money.

Furthermore, as someone noted in one of the comments, if we begin asking questions like that, do we have to keep asking them? Where did this money come from? How did you get it? Was it legal?

At the same time, it seems to me the Apostle Paul encountered this question in 1 Corinthians 8 dealing with meat sacrificed to idols. Paul employed what we now call "the weaker brother" principle meaning don't act in ways that might cause another to sin. With this in mind, I'm not sure what I would do. Would accepting the money be condoning the lottery? Perhaps we'll never to answer these questions, but, as Scripture says, "He who needs wisdom, let him ask of the Lord who gives richly."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What to do?

A church in Florida has created quite a stir recently. It seems one of their church members won a $6 million dollar lottery. Being a good church member (other than playing the lottery of course), he wanted to tithe on his winnings - a tidy $600,000.00. The church declined. (Here's a link the whole story). What do you think? Should the church take the money and use it for benevolent purposes? Or do you agree the church should refuse it? Lemme hear you on this one. I'll tip my hand later.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Arrangements for Bettye Bitz

The funeral services for Mrs. Bettye Bitz are as follows. Visitation tonight from 6:00-8:00 PM at Autry Funeral Home here in Frankston. Her services will be held here at FBC tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 PM with myself and Bro. George Folmar officiating. There will be a funeral luncheon for the family at 12 Noon. If you didn't sign up to bring something, bring it anyway. We'll be ready for you by 8 AM tomorrow.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Prayer needed for the family of Bettye Bitz

Mrs. Bettye Bitz, longtime member of FBC and friend to all in our community, went home to be with the Lord last night. Please pray for Ben, her husband of nearly 62 years and their three children, Ken, Stephen and Becky as well as their families. I spent some time with the family this morning and they are doing well. May the grace of Christ rule with peace and comfort over their hearts today.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Sunday Reflections

Yesterday, the first Sunday of the month, is, as always, furiously busy. The morning service - I struggled all week with that message. I was concerned I might be misinterpreted or misread. I finally decided to let the Holy Spirit do the leading. I'm glad I did. The freedom I felt from the Lord to speak was a wonderful thing!
Our nursing home service was a blessing! Special thanks to Chuck Goocher for his admirable leadership in our song service. Janelle Morris did a pair of specials and did an amazing job with both. My personal favorite was her song "Wore Out."
Last night's service dealt with the Authority of the word of God. I love teaching about the word of God and especially when it's so clear!