Value the Church

This will sound strange to many of you. I went to church 52 weeks a year as I grew up. I went to Sunday School and Sunday morning worship. I was at church training and Sunday evening worship. I attended prayer meetings every Wednesday night. My family even went to church when we were on vacation.

My parents deeply valued the church. They believed it could help them learn God’s word, deepen their faith and guide their family. The local church was a high priority.

Prioritizing the church is less common now. Many Christians see church attendance as an option among many. They often value hobbies, leisure and events as much or more. Participating in the life Continue reading

Why I Read Through the Bible Every Year

Few practices have blessed my life and ministry as greatly as my long time practice of reading the entire bible at least once each year. Of course, as a vocational pastor, I have some obvious advantages in doing so. If I am reading the bible at church, people say, “Don’t bother Pastor Doug!” If you are in bivocational ministry (God bless you and may your tribe increase!) or your ministry is not part of your vocation (How thankful I am for your willingness to serve faithfully as a volunteer!), you probably won’t have that advantage.

One other caveat. If you haven’t read through the New Testament (NT) fully, start there. Read it all the way through several times before going to the more daunting assignment of reading the entire Old Testament. I have sometimes used a reading plan to read the NT in one month (You can find 30 day plans online). After several times through the NT you are ready to read the entire 66 books of the bible.

Here are some reasons I read through the entire bible each year. Continue reading

This is Love: Foster Care and Siblings

Good words from my wife- and daughter.

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This very special post was on my daughter’s Facebook.   I just had to share it with you, with the hope that it will help get the message out, help bring awareness to the need for Foster Families, and answer a question that so many ask.

May is National Foster Care Month. We often get questions about Fostering, and if you’d like to know more about what it looks like please message me.

One of the common questions people have asked (and we did too!) is…

”Doesn’t it take away from your biological kids?”

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Opportunity and the Southern Baptist Convention

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) faces some challenges. We have slowly declined in recent years. We have less members and attenders. The decline in evangelistic effectiveness is especially troubling. But there is opportunity.

Our fellowship has not always been stellar. We can be cantankerous towards each other and our disagreements are not always handled as agreeably as they should be. Sometimes we find ourselves unnecessarily snarky. But there is opportunity.

We have vacancies at the leadership of two major agencies– the International Mission Board and the Executive Committee. These are critical roles and there are no perfect people to lead them. But there is opportunity.

God provides Continue reading

Stay Close to Jesus

The essence of discipleship is found in Jesus’ words, “Follow me.” Can’t you just picture him calling out to Peter and Andrew and James and John, “Follow me!” He didn’t tell them where they would go or what they would see. He just called them to stay close to him, to walk with him and to be with him.

Discipleship is, of course, more than attending church services. It is more than keeping the rules. At its heart, discipleship is following the Lord. It is staying close to Jesus.

Following Jesus means we live like Continue reading

The Gospel According to Acts

Good thoughts from my sweet wife!

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Yes, I know.  In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John we see “The Gospel According to…”, but in the Acts of the Apostles we see

the gospel in action.

The Gospel:  the “good news” of Jesus the Messiah who came to bring salvation to all who place theirfaith in Him.

While the first four books are personal accounts of the Gospel, this book is penned to show us what happened to believers after Jesus is ascended back to the Father:

They became living, breathing testimoniesof the gospel.

There was no, “I met with Jesus yesterday, but today my life is back to normal.”

He.changed.everything.

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Missionary Heroes

We need heroes. Of course, the true hero of our story should always be the Lord Jesus. No earthly hero can do what he did or give what he gave. But there is something to be said for the example of a fellow sinner who has followed the Lord in a way we can emulate.

Paul said, “Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.” I Cor. 11:1 He served the church of Corinth as an example of a sinner following the Savior. He was a model, an example- a hero if you will- for other Christians to follow. He reminded them to follow him only as he followed Jesus. But he showed them how it was done in the real world by a real sinner who was following a real Savior.

Career missionaries serve as models for Christians back home. They might not like the tag “hero” but Continue reading