Saturday, November 21, 2009

Reflections for the week

We're home - finally. It's been a busy week! We left Sunday night for Houston for the annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Our church contributes a significant portion of our annual budgetary receipts to the BGCT so for us it was a stewardship move. We listened, we voted, we fellowshipped with other pastors. A few gripes, but mostly they were about the hotel and the city instead of the convention itself. For example, when I stay at a Motel 6, I get free parking and wi-fi. They usually even throw in a free breakfast as well. The Hyatt Regency downtown charges for all of those things at ridiculous rates. Let's just say I won't be wasting time or money with them again.

Enough gripes. As for the convention, it was a great reminder of the partnership we're in with the other churches belonging to the Baptist General Convention. You may not know it, but there are more than 5,000 member churches scattered across the state of Texas. Not only that, there are nine colleges/ universities attached to us, five hospitals, two children's homes, numerous Christian camps and lots of sub-ministries attached to each of those. We're a part of something HUGE! Thanks for letting us run away from home for a few days to be a part of the planning and stewardship partnership for the coming year. Pray for the work of the BGCT, won't you?

After work on Thursday, we left for Oklahoma City to share a time of fellowship with our friend and hopeful-Congressman James Lankford. There was a party thrown in his honor recognizing his years of service to the churches of Oklahoma. His friends / co-laborers were kind enough to invite us to join in. While we were there, we visited my sister, Karen, who lives in Oklahoma City and teaches nursing there. She's significantly smarter than I am and is presently about 1/2 through with her PhD in nursing. (BTW, my other sister, Winona, was notified she has been accepted in a Master's program for licensing in Physical Therapy. Congrats to her!). We ate lunch with Karen and then went to see "The Blind Side", the movie I recommended to you last week. OUTSTANDING! I'll write next week about that.
Back to James, I'm reminded of Abraham. In Genesis 17, God called Abraham to go to a place he would be shown later. His instruction was to simply go. Explanation not provided. That seems to be how this experience has been for James. While running for Congress is something well within his reach, it's not something he had necessarily planned. It reminded me of another time when I was a youth pastor in Oklahoma. I sensed the Lord calling me to leave a good job, a good home and go to do PhD work. I called James, partially hoping he would talk me out of it. Instead, he poured fuel on the fire. So I left Oklahoma with no job, no promises of a job, no promises I could even get into PhD work. Nevertheless, the counsel James offered was sound and wise. When James called me last year about running for Congress, I was humbled that he would ask my meager counsel and prayed I would be as much help as he has been for me. Indeed, I told him, it seems like a good fit. We need men like James in Congress so we're doing something I've never done - making a campaign contribution. Pray for James and the 5th Congressional District in Oklahoma. Even if James were to lose the election, it doesn't matter - obedience is the key issue. How about you? Are you living in obedience? How big is your vision?

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