November 2013

Truck Stop Church (at least for a few minutes)

Recently, we were on a trip across Texas, something I love to do, especially with my family. Joanna was feeding Mary Kate in a Loves truck stop, sitting in the booths that were for the Subway restaurant. In this particular truck stop, the booths were right next to where all of the truckers came in. Rachel Beth was walking up and down the long bench by the windows and stopped at the other end. When she stopped, she began telling me to hurry because church was about to start.

Mommy asked her who was preaching today and she named a little boy in her class.This went on for a little while and it made me think. This was not church, or at... [continue]

Churches partner to feed children in Haiti

GONZALES - Baptist churches across South Central Texas joined together this holiday season to prepare 128,000 meals to feed needy children in Haiti. The area-wide packing event began as an idea more than a year ago through the Gonzales and Gambrell Baptist Associations' annual meeting.

Several churches had prior involvement in clean up efforts and disaster recovery trips to the impoverished nation, still rebuilding from the earthquake that devastated the country three years ago. Associational leaders agreed to have special offerings in their churches throughout 2013 with the intention of coming together in November to prepare meals... [continue]

Philippines Typhoon: Preparing to go

Our disaster assessment team of six leaves for the Philippines in four days to respond to the disaster that has affected so many following Typhoon Haiyan. Comprised of BGCT staff, disaster assessment "yellow caps" from Texas Baptist Men, and a Filipino pastor and his wife, we are all going with the hope of helping those in need.

Pastor Ernest Dagohoy has done a wonderful job working with friends and family in the Iloilo province and the Convention of the Philippine Baptist Churches to plan our itinerary. While we are in the province, we will be visiting three cities that were drastically impacted by Typhoon Haiyan: Concepcion... [continue]

Providing spiritual nourishment for those in need

CORPUS CHRISTI - Juan Rena was hungry and hurting when he came to the Crossbridge Fellowship Church food pantry. He had no idea how the Lord would change his life in the following year and lead him to become the director of the ministry that impacted him in so many ways.

Addicted to cocaine and meth for more than 25 years, Juan wanted to find a way to turn his life around and find meaning again. He was also in need of food, which led him to Crossbridge's food pantry just a few streets away from his home where he could come twice a month for essential needs.

As Juan and his girlfriend, Tina, received food each month, they noticed... [continue]

Bringing God to soldiers and soldiers to God

FORT SILL, OK - Twenty-four soldiers dressed in PT uniforms sat on the chapel stage on Quarry Hill before Spiritual Formation classes began. From varied backgrounds and more than 20 states across the country, the soldiers had little in common. This day, Sept. 29, however, would be a day they would each remember - it was the day they were going to be baptized.

Each stood before a room filled with their peers and shared their testimony: how they knew they needed Christ, how God has changed their lives and what they are going to strive for in their new walks with Him.

Then, they followed Texas Baptist Chaplain Kevin Burton outside to a... [continue]

It is all possible

As I prepare for each lesson daily, I pray that God speaks through me and says to each child what he or she needs to hear. Each day that passes, I get closer to leaving. This makes me work harder because I want to make the most of my experience.

When I got here, I told each child that we were going to be learning a verse from the Bible each week. I told them it would be a total of 11 verses. They all looked at me and said, "Miss that is too much! I will never be able to memorize so much!" I told them, "I know you all are capable of doing so! Do not complain, just do it! How do you eat an elephant? You eat it one bite at a time. Just... [continue]

Building community one house at a time

PEÑITAS - Down a road devoid of many street signs, and yet to be tracked by Google maps, stands a brand-new purple house shining at the end of the block. This house now belongs to the Lozada family - Miguel, Julia, Hosea (14) and Miguel, Jr. (4) -built with love by 25 women in Woman's Missionary Union of Texas

The third consecutive year to construct a house in Peñitas, WMU has partnered with Buckner International and the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association to build a better way of life in this small colonia in South Texas. The home, which cost approximately $22,000 in supplies to build, was hand built by women desiring to... [continue]

Texas Baptists increase giving to SBC by 2.7%

DALLAS - Texas Baptists' giving to the Southern Baptist Convention for 2013 has increased by 2.7% as compared to giving reports from the same time period in 2012.From January through September of 2013, Texas Baptist churches gave $8.5 million to support the SBC Cooperative Program, compared with $8.3 million in 2012.

Trends in annual giving to the SBC had been declining since 2007, according to Texas Baptists Treasurer Jill Larsen.

"The increase shows that Texas Baptists churches treasure our affiliation with the SBC as a national and international missions partner," Larsen said.

Additionally, giving to other designated funds for the... [continue]

War through the eyes of faith

War powerfully shapes a person's understanding of the world, including one's faith. World War II created in many people a veneration of the United States that caused love of country to sometimes override love of God or to conflate the two into one love. The Vietnam War then brought about a mindset of distrust, and since love of God and country had often been melded the two could be dismissed together by some.

It is not surprising that war shapes understandings of faith, but it is surprising that faith does not more often shape understandings of war.

The other day I ran across an article written by Charles Colson in July 2001 shortly... [continue]

Hunger for More

Thank you all for your prayer! I can see the mighty hand of God firing up the hearts of the town. As I took my seat next to the people that usually attend the evening Sunday service, I started seeing more people come in. I was surprised to see thirty people in the service! That is eighteen more people than usual!

What joy it was to see the church fill up! As the service was about to start, I started praying for each of their hearts and for God to open their eyes to the unconditional love and protection he offers to those who let Him.

This past week I had asked three of the kids from the program if they wanted to help me paint posters... [continue]

Texas Baptists prepare response to Typhoon Haiyan

Multiple thousands of people are feared dead in the Philippines, killed by what many are calling the worst storm ever recorded in the... [continue]

Engaging Students in Sharing the Gospel

ARLINGTON - Christian college students across the nation set out on Oct. 10, with a common goal in mind - to share Christ. Through Engage24, students involved in Baptist Student Ministries were each encouraged to engage one person in a conversation about Jesus, and that is just what they did.

Morgan McAree, a junior at the University of Texas at Arlington, shared her faith for the first time and it made all the difference in her life, and in the life of the fellow student she talked with on campus.

Prior to Engage24, Morgan knew Jesus as her personal Savior but never considered herself an evangelist. In fact, she was rather timid... [continue]

Memorial set for HSU Senior Taylor Huff

Memorial service arrangements for Taylor Huff have been set for 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 14, 2013, at the Church on Rush Creek: Green Oaks Campus, 2350 S.W. Green Oaks Blvd., in Arlington, TX, 76017.

Huff passed away in a pedestrian/vehicle accident in Abilene early Sunday. He was a member of the Hardin-Simmons football team and was a senior exercise science major.

"These guys will honor Taylor by taking the field," said Hardin-Simmons University head coach Jesse Burleson in a news conference this morning as he discussed the difficulty of thinking about football after losing a long-time member of the Cowboys.

Burleson and two... [continue]

Couldn't You Carry Me?

One day a teenage friend of mine, who is moving closer to knowing Christ, and I were playing basketball in the park, and he seemed to be moving slower than usual.

When I asked what his problem was, he showed me a huge painful-looking blister that took up a small section on his foot. I suggested we go back to the house to give his wound a rest. He offered no objections. He was moving even slower as we walked home, so I carried him on my back for the last stretch of the trip.

After lounging around the house for a while with some of the other summer missionaries, we realized it was time to go to an evening prayer meeting at a local... [continue]

Central Texas Flooding

Flooding in the Austin area has affected over 1,600 homes. Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery, working with our State VOAD partners, is assisting in the cleaning out of homes and first response case... [continue]