Daily Archives: November 2, 2012


Bonjour! Just hours ago I returned from spending a week in Paris—”the city of lights” with my wife Robyn, who is studying French and Linguistics at the Sorbonne for this fall semester. In her quest for her master’s de-gree from UTEP, Robyn has taken advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity to study in the oldest university in Paris. Needless to say her quest has created quite an adventure for the two of us.
One of the things I love the most about my wife is the abandonment by which she lives. From her earliest days she has always dreamed big dreams and, even more importantly, pursued them. I learned from her to live “a life without regrets.” I fear far too many of us miss out on so much of the adventure God has for us by playing it safe or living in a rut.
In fact, without doubt this spirit of adventure had a great deal to do with our moving to El Paso a little over two years ago. When God presented us with the opportunity to come and serve with you in the largest border community in the world, we could not in good conscience pass up this once in a lifetime dream.

As you might expect, being the father of four beautiful young women I have sat through my share of “chick flicks.” Those many hours lost in twists and turns of romantic comedies have not been wasted. I have mined a handful of gems. One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie “Hitch” star-ring Will Smith. I love this quote:

“Life is not the amount of breaths you take; it’s the moments that take your

breath away.”

I believe the scriptwriter nailed it. Far too many of the children of God settle when the world awaits at the finger tips.

C.S. Lewis put it this way:

“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, we are like ignorant children who want to continue making mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

The Apostle Paul I believe spoke to this reality when he wrote to the believers who lived in the most powerful city in the world, Rome saying:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renew-ing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2 NIV)

When good, pleasing and perfect awaits you, why settle for anything less? I be-lieve God created us to live with the same abandonment by which Jesus lived. El Paso offers the perfect place to live this way. At every turn one can see ways to get your hands dirty, investing your life in an opportunity of significance. Don’t waste a moment of your life—make the most of every opportunity by living a life without regrets.

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BGCT Chooses the Right Team for Tomorrow

When news reached me in Paris, France that Jeff Johnson, Bryon Stephenson, and Kathy Hillman had been elected officers for the Baptist General Convention of Texas I was thrilled. I cannot imagine three people who better represent the best of who Texas Baptists are and will become in the years ahead.

Jeff Johnson has paid his dues and  will do an amazing job bolding leading the convention into the future. If you study his resume you see he has experience at every level of Baptist life from BSM director, professor, executive board director, and pastor. During his days in Del Rio Jeff amazed me with his passion to engage the culture and to reach agressively across the river into Mexico often at personal peril and cost. Even thought Jeff is an “Aggie” he has a good head on his shoulders. He reads widely, thinks deeply, listens and learns, but most importantly he puts his passion and ideas into action. I can see Jeff being a huge asset to David Hardage during the days ahead.

Bryon is an amazing leader and his church has one of the best choirs in Texas. It must be mandatory for him to bring them to San Antonio. I had the honor of being in his church and I witness his amazing blend of humble bold leadership among his people. He is the real deal. Recently I spent time with him in New Orleans at the SBC Convention. He is a quick learner, and is passionate about advancing the cause of Christ as a Texas Baptist. He will push Jeff to be at his best and will help us keep our eye on the ball.

Kathy Hillman has deep roots in Texas Baptist life. I had the honor of serving under her leadership when she chaired the Committee on Convention Business (COCB). Kathy loves the BGCT. She represents what is best about the heritage and history of the WMU. Kathy will speak up and has the courage to lead. She has deep convictions. This summer I discovered that Kathy and her family have deep roots in the pioneer spirit of Texas Baptist as we met under the stars at the Paisano Cowboy Camp in far West Texas to sing the old Cowboy songs of years gone by.

Even though as Marv Knox noted it was a “quiet” convention in Corpus Christi, don’t for one minute think that quiet means nothing of significance happened. Texas Baptists chose three leaders ready and willing to help us embrace our future with courage and boldness.

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