Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welcome Rylee Anne Davis!

Rylee Anne Davis, daughter of Ryan and Tracci Davis, was born last night around 8:45 PM in Dallas - all 6 lbs, 15 ozs of her. The Davis' firstborn, she is doing well as is her mother. Dad's just plain cool about it, as is he is usually. Congratulations Davis family!

Rylee has a heart problem that will require surgery sometime in the next 4-5 days. Please pray for this surgery to go smoothly. Pray also for grace and peace for Ryan and Tracci during Rylee's period of recovery.

A dead battery

On Monday, my lovely wife came to my office. Just as she was about to leave, she mentioned the trouble her SUV had starting that morning. I recognized it right away - a dying (if not already dead) battery. We jumped into her SUV and drove to Johnny Wheeler's auto parts store. One of Johnny's fine employees came out to check on the battery with the tester - dead as a hammer. All the other machinery worked beautifully, but without the battery to set it all in motion, it's all worthless. Fortunately, Johnny sold me another battery (after he made a number of jokes at my expense, each of which I found hillarious! Like this one: "Don't trust anyone who's profession starts with a 'p' - preacher, politician or parts man!"). I took it home and swapped the old one for the new one and put Julie back on the road. No problem.

I wish it was that easy for our spiritual lives. Running low? Not much power in your life? BANG! Presto-changeo, swap the battery of your heart. Imagine Billy Mays or the Slap-chop guy selling that!

The truth is power is available to us - if we choose to remain connected to it. The power of the Lord is ever-present and ever-available. The real question is who's power we'll use - ours or His?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Misison Frankston headed to GALVESTON

I spoke this morning with our friends at Galveston about our upcoming mission trip. We'll convene a meeting with this same information right after Easter, but here it is in advance.

DATES: We'll leave around 2 PM on Sunday, July 19th. Our return date is Friday, July 24. If you'd like to stay around and find something fun to do, you're welcome to do so. If you'd rather head for home, most of us will head home after rush hour that evening.

WORK: We'll be working on homes and / or churches in the Greater Galveston area. They'll have to wait to tell us final details about where we'll be working until later in the summer since they have numerous other groups coming in ahead of us. Suffice it to say there's plenty to do!

ACCOMADATIONS: We'll be staying either at the University Baptist Church in Galveston (the host church who is coordinating the recovery efforts for the island) or at FBC LaMarque, just across the bridge from Galveston. Both have kitchen facilities for our use and showers at our disposal. Yes, we'll be sleeping on the floor, but that's nothing a good air matress won't solve!

TRANSPORTATION: We'll be driving ourselves to Galveston. If you'd rather meet us there, feel free to do so. If you need a ride, we'll be taking the church van.

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES: We don't know of a church that needs our help right now with regard to a VBS or something similar, but we're not done looking yet! Tune back in over the next several weeks and we'll get an answer to that.

So there you have it - our mission trip to our neighbors. Plan to be a part of it, won't you? Pray for open doors of ministry and pray for those who we'll minister to, even now, almost four months out.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reuben J Swanson, PhD - 1917-2009

When I was writing my dissertation, one of the resources I used was a majestic work written by Dr. Reuben J. Swanson. Essentially, his works represent his life's blood. He poured his heart and soul into it and it showed. What a blessing those works were to me (and still are!) and to countless other scholars.

Dr. Swanson passed away this week near Cincinnati, OH. A devout man as well as a scholar, Dr. Swanson's legacy of work survives him and not just in book form. His son is a pastor there and his memorial service will be held in his church. Furthermore, his grandson Erik produced a video about Dr. Swanson. An admirable tribute, I've placed it here for your viewing. My apologies - the video doesn't begin until about the 50 second mark.

Dr. Swanson, you'll be greatly missed. May the Lord bless your family and here's to solving those textual problems by talking with the Lord Jesus himself!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Calling all PAINTERS

Do you have an artistic flair? Do you have a desire to be used by the Lord? Do you have a paint brush and/or a roller? We're looking for some PAINTERS! We need some PAINTERS! Did I say we need some PAINTERS?

Several months ago, we discussed the need for the inside of the church to get painted. It's been 10 years now and it's well-past time. We're hoping to get the church painted on the inside before Easter (April 12). If you'd like to help, we're planning a work day for April 4th (that's one week from Saturday). We've got rollers, brushes, scrubby things and the paint. We need PAINTERS! If that includes you, look for details in this Sunday's bulletin.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My favorite weekends of the year

It's late March and that means NCAA Tournament TIME! I love the weekend of basketball! Even with baseball practice starting today, this weekend is all about basketball. So far (in my bracket competition with my wife), I'm doing okay. Tune in any time today, but especially at 7:15 PM tonight when our Texas Longhorns play Duke!

Monday, March 16, 2009

HELP WANTED

We're looking for some special people! They don't have to be especially skilled or exceptionally talented - just willing to be used by the Lord for some special purposes! Perhaps you're one of them! Here's your chance to get in the game.
- NEED 1 - We need some additional Children's church workers. As it stands, our children's minister, Barbara Railsback, and her assistant, Mary NeSmith, never get to attend worship. Each and every week they are in the children's service, leading worship for them. They do a great job and we're not trying to replace them. Rather, we're trying to add to their number. We're looking for people who would be willing to serve a Sunday per quarter in Children's church to allow our leaders to participate in the adult Worship service. I'll be visiting with the church about this, but please pray with me about the people we need in this role.
- NEED 2 - Like to work with technology? We need some help there. Tammy Bostick and Damon Hopkins serve in those roles presently, but every once in a while, they need some help! Furthermore, we've got video ideas that we don't have time for. If you've got experience or interest in video editing, call me. We've got just the spot for you to volunteer.
- NEED 3 - We need help with our Easter Egg Hunt. Easter is a short three weeks away. We're planning an egg hunt for the Saturday before. If you'd like to help, please contact the church office, or sign up on the form in the foyer and we'll get in touch with you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An old friend

When I was in high school, I had a dear friend. He was several years older - a seminary student in his mid-20's - but he took a keen interest in myself and several others, teaching our Sunday School class, leading a youth Bible study and providing a guiding hand at a critical juncture in life. His name was Dave Steward. Dave was an awfully bright guy who could've gone places other than Joshua, but the Lord brought him to us and I'm glad He did. Dave was at times the confidant, at times the counselor, at times the discipler, each in turn and each with effectiveness.

What I haven't told you about Dave is this: he was stricken with cerebral palsy, a disorder affecting the cerebrum and muscle coordination. For Dave, an oxygen deprivation at his birth caused the malady. It caused him to walk with a distinctive gait, a swaying, hip-gyrating swish regularly resulting in a fall. Imagine someone walking as if they were hula-hooping and you have an idea of what it was like to walk with Dave. Each of us made up an imitation of Dave's stride, much to his delight. He became ESSENTIAL to take with us to Six Flags since he, with his handicapped status, could go in through the exit to any ride on the premises. He loved us and we loved him. For me, he became a mentor and a leader, a kind of personal pastor who guided me through some difficult waters during my last three years of high school. The one certainty I learned from Dave was don't let your circumstances dictate your future if you believe God has a powerful future ahead for you. Limitations, even physical ones, are temporary hindrances for the powerful God of the universe.

Dave passed away about 5 years ago, living much longer than his doctors told him he would. While I miss his ministry and his love for the Lord, his legacy lives on in the lives he helped change (like mine). Thus, when I got to my office this morning and found this video emailed to me from a friend, I promptly wept like a school-girl remembering his influence in my life and how he helped me to become the man I am. It's not about Dave, but one cut from his same cloth. I don't know about his spiritual life, but learn from his determination. Meet D.J. Gregory. The video is a little longer than I usually use, but it's well worth your time.






Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Technical Difficulties

I was unaware of the problem with my blog until my lovely wife alerted me to it. A quick change in the template repaired the problem! Thanks for your patience and welcome to my new look!
Please take a moment to check out the first post from yesterday about military personnel and their pictures. We're hoping to get that video rolling in the next few weeks. If you're family has a military connection, please consider participating.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Monday Morning Reflections

- A warm word of gratitude to our friends Matthew Hollensworth from Sand Springs Baptist Church near Athens and Debbie Mulholland from New York Baptist Church for the exceptional job they did last night. Their presentation regarding their mission experiences in the Ukraine was outstanding.
- Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ at the FBC of Maryville, IL.. Yesterday morning, a deranged individual shot and killed Senior Pastor Fred Winters during a morning worship service. I've never been to their church nor did I know Bro. Winters but I'm certain their grief today is overwhelming. It's comforting to know the great and powerful God of the universe stands at the ready to console us in our time of deepest sorrow.
- This week's buisness meeting will feature a discussion about the flooring in our church - both what we do have and what we need. Please make plans to join us Wednesday night for that discussion. We'll begin about 7 PM.
- A shout-out to our friends at Memorial Baptist Church in Corsicana, TX. I got an invitation from Rev. Jeff White to join MBC for Celebration Day, their annual church homecoming. Gladly, I accepted and will be there on Sunday, April 26th. If you're an MBC member, I'll meet you there. If you're an FBC member, not to worry - you'll be well cared for. See me later about who will speak that day.
- My parents will be joining us this coming Saturday, spending the day with us. They've not yet visited our new home, so this will be a real treat!
- I've thoroughly enjoyed preparing for a speaking to this series on the Bible. I hope you've been blessed by it. The danger I run on these type series is overwhelming some and thus sending them home empty when they came to get filled. Pray with me that doesn't happen. We've only got one more Sunday in this series - "How to read the Bible for all it's worth" - and then we'll move on.
- Spring break begins this week! Even though we're not in school, it's still a season marker!
- Thanks to Coach Sam Wells of Frankston High School for letting me announce the Regional Powerlifting meet. Unbelievable what some of these kids can lift. One young man - Alex Lowry a senior at Caddo Mills High School - squated 800 lbs, benched 470 lbs and deadlifted 625 lbs. Wow.

Help us with a special video

We've got an idea for a special video this coming spring. In conjunction with the National Day of Prayer, we'd like to assemble a video honoring our military personnel and asking for prayer for them. If you have a family member serving in the military and you'd like to participate, please loan or email us a picture of your loved one in uniform for use in the video. The picture doesn't need to be a formal or staged photo - it can be anything as long as they are in uniform. For those who participate, we'll provide a complimentary copy of our video we produce. Join me in praying for our men and women in the service today.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Decisions have consequences

I found a video today of someone who is learning the power of consequences. While I don't condone all of the judge's language or his conduct, the power of his words is clear - or ought to be. The dude being sentenced is receiving a 120 year prison term. Hmmmmm. I think I would at least TRY to be nice to the one man who can make that a slightly shorter term. Take a look at this 1 minute video.

http://video.ap.org/?f=201264&pid=zKU_xjb4Dnw3tAAYXe0_tGSRXdExvOEL

Monday, March 02, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: This Wednesday night canceled due to a flood!

This Wednesday night's activities - all of them, including Wednesday night supper, TeamKid, Prayer Meeting and Youth Activities - have been CANCELED! We had a reasonably serious flood in the building last night during choir rehearsal. All carpeted areas except the auditorium have been affected.

What will we do about it? We've had ServePro, a carpet cleaning service, in here since last night cleaning and moving furniture. However, because the carpet was badly soaked in places (like the nursery suite), there's a good chance the carpet will not be suffciently dry by Wednesday night. Thus, rather than a take a chance of mold or something similiar, we're canceling everything until we figure out what our long-term remedy will be. If you're an FBC member, please make special pains to be at our March Business meeting on March 10th to discuss this issue and its solution.