Monthly Archives: June 2013

Dad’s Day 2013

I love the quote attributed to Mark Twain who said about his father:

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

I must confess my father keeps getting smarter and smarter as well. I’ll never forget how brilliant he became when I had children of my own.

Father’s Day waits just around the corner, and I am looking forward to it on many levels. I look forward to giving my dad a call on Sunday afternoon to try to put into words my gratitude for his influence in my life, and I too look forward to the calls, texts, and Facebook posts from my girls.

I will never forget the moment I held tiny little Kalie in my arms and I became a dad. Was I ready? No, absolutely not. Was I excited? I stood there speechless with a big silly smile on my face.

We live in a day when many are ringing their hands in desperation over the plight or our nation and civilization as we know it. Greater minds than mine spend countless hours planning and theorizing on how to reverse the course of our nation as we plunge into the future.

Often the answers point toward better schools and neighborhoods. Experts believe we need better “villages” and methods to raise our children. I must confess I may be simple minded, but I believe the answer still rests in the home and God’s plan for every boy and girl to have a father at home makes a great deal of sense.

Yes, I believe good godly fathers make great nations by pouring their lives into their children.

Paul challenged the fathers of his day saying:

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 NIV)

Sunday School and church have their place in the moral development of a child, but there can be no substitute for the godly influence of a man on his children.

In the Old Testament one of the terms used for this vital connection was the word “blessing.” In a formal life-giving way fathers passed on their blessings to their children. In our day, I know countless children young and old who yearn and long for their father’s blessing.

Coach Jim Valvano, who coached a NCAA national championship basketball team, captured it best with his observation when he said:

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give to another person—he believed in me.”

Dads on this special day never under estimate your value to our world. We need you now more than ever!

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Repentance Missing in Message of Grace: “Sermon Notes”

And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:9-10 NIV

As in the previous story Jesus stresses the joy of heaven over ONE sinner who repents. As Jesus stared in the faces of countless critics and seekers, he points out again how valuable one life is to God Himself.

Once again Jesus reminds his listeners that the love of God for sinners urges them to “repent”—to change the way they think and live so they can experience life as it was meant to be. God loves sinners, but He rejoices when even one sinner repents and turns away from the sinner and turns to the Savior.

I believe repentance is what is missing in much of the preaching and teaching about grace today. We have so stressed the grace and love of God that we have overshadowed the critical importance of repentance. I fear part of the reason revolves around the reality that we have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature and consequences of sin.

In the text when Jesus speaks of the “one sinner” he uses the Greek word which literally means “to miss the mark” like shooting at a target with a rifle or bow and arrow and to miss the intended target or it meant “to err or to wander” like one who is lost or has lost their way.

To put it another way sin leads to death—or as Paul put it so succinctly “the wages of sin is death.” When God gave us the Ten Commandments and all the other laws and directives in the Bible it was not that He was trying to rob us of a good time or be the ultimate party popper. No, His commandments represented his love for us. He knew all too well that our sinful choices would only hurt and harm us. Sin by its very nature destroys health, happiness, and life. Sin robs us of life as it as it was meant to be. So you can see why God celebrates and rejoices when a sinners repents or changes the way he or she thinks and lives.

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Lee Moor Stampede

On your mark, get set, go, and the runners were off. The first wave took off like deer scampering across the open plains while the rest of the runners followed like a slow moving winding river. After the first mile of the” Lee & Beulah Moor 11th Annual Run/Walk for Families in Crisis” at Sunland Park on Saturday, June 1st the ranks began to thin. At the two mile mark a few of the faithful slowed to a jog and even a handful began to walk with labored breathing.

At the finish line bands played, cheerleaders shouted encouragement for the runners to finish, and the finish line loomed huge in the distance. There is nothing like the feeling of finishing the race no matter where you in the standings—because it is finally over. For the First Baptist Church team the finish line crowned seven winners among a team of winners.

Last Saturday, the First Baptist Church team of runners and walkers fifty-six strong under the leadership and organization of our team captains Chuck and Priscilla Myers won a huge trophy for being the largest team at the fund raising event that helps to undergird and support the ministry of the Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home.

In addition to being the largest team, Team FBC was also the most decorated with seven members winning metals for their age groups. Since my wife Robyn was one of the winners, I will reframe from revealing the ages, but the winners were Chuck Myers, David Vidales, Rebecca Page, Dana Davis, Shawn Kelley, David Valle, and Robyn Lowrie.

I want to congratulate one and all for their involvement. Those of us who participated on this beautiful June morning had a great time for a great cause.

The Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home has always held a special place in the heart of First Baptist Church because our own Madge Watson served as the director of the home for many years. In recent years this relationship has been renewed by the visionary ministry of Dan McGlasson and our student ministry team that has reached out intentionally to the children of the home week in and week out.

Twice a month somewhere between twenty-five to forty of the children, youth and house parents of the home attend our Sunday morning worship services. Many of the youth from the home participate in practically every aspect of the life of our youth ministry from camps to mission trips. This relationship with the children and youth of the children’s home is one of the most important partnerships of our church in El Paso. I was thrilled to see our church turn out in force to show how much we love and care for these children, besides it was a lot of fun!

Making a difference in the life of a child means the world to Jesus. In fact He said:

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me…” (Matthew 18:5 NIV)

The Team FBC made us all proud at the Lee & Beulah Moor Run/Walk not so much for all the metals won, nor the trophy. No, they made us proud because they took the love of Jesus outside the stained glass windows of our church and gave of their time and treasures for a great cause—touching the lives of children in the name of Jesus!

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