Jesus & “Jurassic World” (yes, I will connect them)
by Guest Author on June 30, 2015 in great commission
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of watching "Jurassic World." (My fellow staff members who attended the movie with me might not say the same. I am an action movie spaz, but that's besides the point.) It was super intense, but once I finally stopped shaking due to my muscles being clenched the whole time (in suspense, not fear, of course – two different things), I seriously enjoyed it. As crazy as it may seem, I even drew some parallels to the Gospel. Who knew, right?
In the movie, the super smart scientists in the lab at Jurassic World have created a genetically modified (female) dinosaur called Indominus Rex. As mayhem ensues,...
Louie Giglio challenges youth at North Texas YEC
by Leah Reynolds on June 29, 2015 in news
The June 19-20, North Texas Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC) brought an overflowing crowd of students to Venue 510 in Burleson, where renowned pastor and author Louie Giglio gave a challenging message.
Giglio, founder of Passion Conferences and pastor of Passion City church in Atlanta, Georgia, read from Luke 7, reciting the story which records people finding themselves in a place of "holy mystery" after Jesus raised a widow's only son from the dead.
"This story is not just a story of a boy that is raised from the dead," Giglio told the students. "This is a picture of the Gospel."
Through salvation, he explained, God brings the dead...
A vessel for the Lord in Oregon
by Guest Author on June 29, 2015 in great commission
I stopped to be still and just feel the Lord's presence. It had been a long day and it was only noon, but the Lord had been at work since before the day even started.
It was a Saturday. But not just any Saturday. This Saturday represented the beginning of the Lord's work in a new apartment complex. We were having a barbecue to invite people in the community to be apart of kids club, youth group and our brand new house church that was just planted in the area. It had been an incredible day so far and we were getting to meet so many new people. There is no way to describe the experience except for peace. I was hot and tired from...
4 Things to Leave Out of Your Next Sermon
by Aaron Summers on June 29, 2015 in faith
It is Sunday morning. I have just finished teaching our young married class, have met with my Sunday prayer partner and am now gathering my stuff to go into the worship center. I have:
- My Bible,
- My notes,
- My phone, and
- My mic
Now I am ready. Like you, we greet others in the hall and in the sanctuary. We shake hands, give hugs and greet guests. A few announcements, songs and an offering later we find ourselves at the brink of stepping up to the pulpit. As you take that first step, remember what not to bring to the pulpit.
- Leave your anger. This emotion is real. The struggle is real. We all get angry. Family,
What the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling means for Texas churches
by John Litzler on June 26, 2015 in culture
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that state bans on same-sex marriage violate the 14th amendment. The decision, written by Justice Kennedy, reflects a remarkable reversal in public acceptance of same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is now legal in Texas. Texas must also recognize the validity of marriages performed in other states. The decision has had an immediate effect as some county clerk's offices are already reporting they are open and ready to provide same-sex marriage licenses.
While some celebrate the decision as a victory for equality, many churches have expressed concern about how the legalization of same-sex...
Texas Baptists respond to Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage
by Leah Reynolds on June 26, 2015 in news
For the first time in history the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage throughout the nation on Friday, June 26, creating a challenge for churches and Christian organizations that believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman.
David Hardage, executive director for Texas Baptists, which has around 5,400 affiliated Baptist churches, said: "The Baptist General Convention of Texas is committed to loving, caring and treating all people with grace and respect. Also, we continue to affirm our long held understanding of the biblical view of marriage as that between one man and one woman."
In the ruling, the Supreme Court...
Let love win
by Rand Jenkins on June 26, 2015 in culture
Today, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal and must be recognized in all 50 states. Yeah, you probably already knew that ruling. This isn't a news post. It's not an ethical post. It's not even an opinion post. So, have you stopped reading yet …?
It is about my belief of a Christian response, regardless of one's opinion and conviction on gay marriage – or any topic for that matter.
#lovewins has been the trending hashtag all morning and it'll probably continue for a while. I know why – people are excited about their new privilege and it's a win of inclusion for that lifestyle.
We as Christians need to let love...
Giving God your “yes”
by Guest Author on June 26, 2015 in great commission
Many people think that working in the red-light district would be incredibly heavy, spiritually dark and really depressing. While those things are true to an extent, each time I do outreach in those areas, I walk away with a little bit of joy restored to me. Let me explain.
In the midst of the darkness, in the midst of all of the terrible things happening, in the midst of people being completely enslaved to their sin, I am able to so humbly rejoice in the salvation I have received through Jesus Christ. Because I was once in darkness, I was once enslaved so completely to my sin. Yet simply, by the grace of God, I am set free.
Moving Past #PrayforCharleston
by Kathryn Freeman on June 25, 2015 in christian life commission
Last Wednesday evening, a 21-year-old white man walked into Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, sat through Bible study and then murdered nine African Americans: State Senator and Pastor Clementa Pickney; librarian Cynthia Hurd; Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr.; speech therapist and mom Sharonda Singleton; Bible study teacher Myra Thompson; 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders who died trying to save his aunt; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor; 87-year-old Susie Jackson; and, 70-year-old Ethel Lance.
Before the young man shot them, he stated he was shooting them because, "You rape our women and you're taking over our country." It has since been...
Grief is a journey – just be present
by Katie Swafford on June 25, 2015 in faith
This is the first article in a three-part series from our Director of Counseling Services on loss which will address how to deal with the emotional impacts of loss through grief, compassion fatigue and finding life in death.
I've always heard losses come in "threes." Well, the past few weeks have gone way beyond that number in my world. I know there are many families and friends grieving – some I know personally and some I only know by name as brothers and sisters in Christ. Most of these losses have come in very tragic situations and circumstances. Others have come after long illness and suffering.
As I reflect on these losses...
Lives added to the Book of Life in the Philippines
by Guest Author on June 25, 2015 in great commission
Once my team and I arrived in Bicol our team (of four Americans and me) grew and we added two translators, they were instantly part of our team! We headed out to the field last Saturday morning, to Apuao, a small island. The pictures I have taken don't do God's creation justice.
Ate Annie, Deanna, Racheal and I headed to the village. As part of our mission, we asked the people if we could take their blood pressure and once we were invited into their homes we would talk to them about the Gospel. Sometimes Ate Annie shares in Tagalog or other times one of us would share in English and she will translate. It is so amazing how God...
Child abuse is everyone's business
by John Litzler on June 24, 2015 in church office
Country singer Kacey Musgraves' single, "Biscuits," is gaining popularity. The message of the song can be summed up in the line that advises, "Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy." It's a catchy and clever restatement of the familiar idiom, "mind your own business."
In today's society, we've heard so many variations of this phrase that many people behave as though nothing that goes on in other people's lives is anyone else's business. When it comes to child abuse and neglect, the adage simply doesn't apply. Christians should be at the forefront in reminding society that child abuse and neglect are everyone's...
Legislature says “I Do” to Pastor Protection Act
by John Litzler on June 24, 2015 in church office
On June 11, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the so-called Pastor Protection Act that protects religious organizations and their employees from performing or participating in marriages that conflict with "sincerely held religious beliefs." The Christian Life Commission and its director of public policy, Kathryn Freeman, worked with faith leaders throughout Texas during the 2015 legislative session to get this bill passed.
The law will be added to Section 1, Chapter 2 of the Texas Family Code and will take effect Sept.1, 2015. The bill is timely because it comes ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage later in...
Texas Churches Meet the Need in Eagle Pass
by Olivia Williams on June 24, 2015 in great commandment
In June of 2013, a flooding disaster left residents of Eagle Pass in great need of reconstruction and attention to damage due to rising water levels. Two years after the natural disaster, Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery is continuing to send groups of volunteers to help the community repair damages, provide service to those in need and share the love of Christ.
Eagle Pass, a town on the border of Texas and Mexico, is located in Maverick County, which is the ninth poorest county in the United States. Due to the flooding from 2013, the community's poverty levels only increased as many people lacked the resources to properly fix...
God’s great redemption story
by Guest Author on June 24, 2015 in great commission
How long, Lord, must I call for help,but you do not listen?Or cry out to you, "Violence!"but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?Destruction and violence are before me;there is strife, and conflict abounds.Therefore the law is paralyzed,and justice never prevails.The wicked hem in the righteous,so that justice is perverted.The Lord's Answer
"Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your daysthat you would not believe,even if you were told.
A friend shared these verses with me a few days ago, and its...
Leadership Texas Baptists seeking emerging leaders
by Kalie Lowrie on June 23, 2015 in news
DALLAS - Texas Baptists is launching Leadership Texas Baptists this fall, a new program aimed at emerging leaders. Leadership Texas Baptists is a nine-month experience to engage, equip, and inform emerging leaders from churches across the state. Pastors, staff, and lay leaders accepted into the program will gather once a month in a cohort experience to hear from and dialog with BGCT leaders.
"We are excited to launch this new initiative aimed at identifying and equipping emerging Baptist leaders from around Texas," said Dr. David Hardage, Texas Baptists executive director. "Our hope is that Leadership Texas Baptists will be...
Learning more about Jesus in the midst of cultural shock
by Guest Author on June 23, 2015 in great commission
I've been serving in Southeast Asia for about three weeks and I've learned a lot of things, but one of the biggest lessons I've learned is that being a cross-cultural worker is hard. You arrive in a new culture and literally everything is different and those differences can be overwhelming.
At first the newness is exciting – trying new food, meet new people, seeing new sights is fun. This is called the fun or "honeymoon" stage of culture shock. I served in England last summer and stayed in this stage the whole time. So this summer, when it's only three weeks into my two month time here, I was surprised to already be moving out...
Super Summer’s ingredients to 41 years of success
by Leah Reynolds on June 23, 2015 in great commission
Every June and July, thousands of Super Summer students proudly wear the same color, loudly chant group cheers and put on their game faces at competitive activities for five straight days, but leaders and students alike will agree the success of the camp goes far deeper than fun and games.
Super Summer is intense and intentionally deeper than regular youth camps, said Scott Patridge, youth minister at Arapaho Road Baptist Church in Garland and dean for the Red School at the first Super Summer session this year, which took place at Dallas Baptist University from June 8-12.
"It's not a camp for everybody," he said. "But for those...
Found Ministry in Free Counseling
by Olivia Williams on June 22, 2015 in faith
Benjamin Skye's dream was to return to America from his home in Malaysia, get a college degree and live here permanently. Texas Baptists not only helped bring him overseas but also guided him along in his journey to counsel families and serve the Lord.
Born in Pennsylvania, Skye then spent the next 17 years of his life in Malaysia. Despite living in a religiously diverse country in which Islam is the most prominent, he was raised in a Christian household with dreams of furthering his education in the United States, like his father.
"My mother credits our English proficiency to her requiring us to begin reading the Bible twice a day...
Learning to love more in Houston
by Guest Author on June 20, 2015 in great commission
Camp Bethany is in full swing. Last week, we were praying for kids and this week we had them! It is hard to believe that we have only known these kids for five days. Already they have stolen my heart. I guess that is what pouring into someone for nine hours a day does to you.
Although I feel like I know them very well, I am still fully aware each of these kids comes with a lot of "life stuff" that I do not know about. Sometimes we see this "stuff" come out in some ugly ways - like fighting during frisbee games, having attitudes about doing math problems, and making offensive comments about other kids. We've had quite a few...
Serving in Quebec to glorify His Name
by Guest Author on June 19, 2015 in great commission
Well, we've officially had our first group of kids come through the camp. On Thursday, we had kids ages 5 through 12 come from a Quebec school. They were able to go through nine activities, such as arts and crafts, boating, sports, etc. All the kids ages 7 and under spoke ONLY FRENCH! So I had to learn some French really quick in order to lead these kids through my activity, which was sponge volleyball. It was super stressful, but also very sweet to see these little children who were so precious and know that God loved them.
The real ministering happened later that night, when the little kids left and we had fourth through sixth...
Sharing the greatest story in Hawaii
by Guest Author on June 18, 2015 in great commission
After a semester of trying to get our schedules to match up, I was finally able to take John on an adventure to Rainbow Falls. John is a student whom I've been blessed to grow close to over the last semester. He was not raised in a Christian home. He did not grow up going to church, or reading the Bible. He is not a believer. But he is searching.
I finally had the opportunity to go out into the beauty of nature that is Hilo, one-on-one with John. As we sat on the top of a giant lava rock in the middle of the Wailuku River, we began to look at all that was around us.
I asked John, "Isn't this beautiful"?
He obviously agreed. We began...
Truth – Take Two, No Three
by Ferrell Foster on June 18, 2015 in culture
Last week, I wrote about plagiarism. Now, another truth story is big news – Rachel Dolezal portrays herself as a black woman although she is actually white.
Dolezal says she "identifies as black," borrowing the language of the sexual identity movement. Identifying as African American was not her problem; she went afoul of good judgment by lying and misrepresenting herself.
In other words, it would have been fine for her to say something like, "I'm a white woman, but I identify deeply with the experience of African Americans." But that's not what she did. The Washington Post summed it up this way: Dolezal "had dyed her hair, darkened...
Don't Lose the Wonder
by Kathleen Hardage on June 17, 2015 in ministers spouses
"O the wonder of it all, the wonder of it all, Just to think that God loves me!" -G.B. Shea
Once upon a time, my husband was the guest preacher at a church and we sat at the front, near a staff member. After some singing, a white-haired man, robed for baptism, gave his testimony. He had been in military service and said he had lived his life apart from God. Tears filled my eyes as I heard him tell how he had recently found Jesus and wanted to follow Him in baptism.
But just as the baptism started, a staff member near us leaned over and told a humorous story of a time he had baptized an unusually tall person. Later, as a...
A servant’s heart with a smile
by Guest Author on June 17, 2015 in great commission
This past weekend, we traveled to a local village for an English camp. The entire point of the weekend was to help the Thai people practice their English all while building relationships. I was fortunate enough to meet so many Thai girls and build awesome relationships with a few of them over the course of the weekend.
Susie decided to sit with me on the way home because we had a 4 hour bus ride and she wanted to practice her English!! She ended up asking me how long I had been a Christian and I knew that was God putting an opportunity right in front of my face, so I took full advantage of it. I was able to share the Gospel and...
Culp and Spooner receive Texas Baptist Legacy Awards
by Linley McCord on June 16, 2015 in news
INDEPENDENCE—Deep in the heart of Texas at historic Independence Baptist Church, friends, family and former co-workers of Jim Culp and Bernie Spooner gathered to honor the veteran denominational leaders at the annual Texas Baptist Legacy Awards presentation on June 7.
Culp and Spooner cumulatively devoted more than four decades to service on the Texas Baptists Executive Board staff.
"The Legacy Award acknowledges that we have seen these men sounding forth what they have received," Executive Director David Hardage said. Culp and Spooner could not contain the message of the Gospel, and everyone has seen that truth, he said.
Youth help rehabilitate homes in South Dallas through BOUNCE
by Kalie Lowrie on June 16, 2015 in great commandment
Armed with hammers, power tools, paint and enthusiasm, 100 junior high and high school students flooded into South Dallas June 8-13 to help repair homes through Urban BOUNCE. The Texas Baptists Student Disaster Recovery program, which began in 2014, started a new track this year with an emphasis on urban areas in need of rehabilitation.
The students formed nine teams and worked on seven homes, identified and secured through a partnership with by People Helping People through the City of Dallas.
"Our partnership with People Helping People is a great asset," said David Scott, director of BOUNCE. "They help identify qualified...
Pain and sadness amidst beauty
by Guest Author on June 16, 2015 in great commission
We arrived in Portland on Monday, May 25. It didn't take long for me to realize we weren't in Texas anymore. This place was very different.
Oregon is filled with flowing hills and trees. There are so many trees, and not just trees, but tall trees, I mean TALL trees. It also didn't take long for me to fall in love with Portland. When we pulled out of that parking garage of the Portland Airport and started down the highway, that's when I fell in love.
All of the flowing hills, the trees, the green everywhere, the colorful houses built up on the hills, none of them looking quite the same. It was beautiful. That was the moment I...
Jurassic World: Is bigger and better ever enough?
by Kalie Lowrie on June 15, 2015 in culture
Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen Jurassic World yet and you plan on seeing it, you may want to wait to read this post since a few plot points may be given away.
Just when you thought T-Rex was the scariest possible villain you could image, Jurassic World proves that scarier dinosaurs are possible.
While I'm not a well-respected cinema critic, I do enjoy seeing the latest blockbuster film, especially in the heightened summer time, when releases are even "bigger and better." I went with some friends to see Jurassic World this weekend (along with millions of other Americans) and I jumped and screamed at all the right times....
Following God and Going Now
by Olivia Williams on June 15, 2015 in great commission
The easiest way to making change in the world is through the law, or at least that is what Lilian thought. However, the Lord showed Lilian Ibarra* throughout her college career just how many different ways she could make an impact on society.
After becoming a believer in high school, Ibarra headed to the University of Texas at Austin where she planned on studying to eventually becoming a federal judge. As a college freshman, she was the youngest fellow in the state office where she worked, and although her experiences there were substantial and educational, is was at school that she saw great potential when she decided to join the...
Learning to pray without ceasing
by Guest Author on June 13, 2015 in great commission
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I especially aim to cling to the part of this verse that says, "pray without ceasing." I have a deep desire to be a prayer warrior, a woman ready and willing to go to the Lord in prayer at any time, and I eagerly expect for the Spirit to help me in my weakness. When I "do not know what to pray for as [I] ought," I desperately hope the Spirit would lead me and even intercede for me "with groanings too deep for words" (Romans 8:26). However, even in the midst of these desires, I...
Bounce Week One is a Wrap!
The entire BOUNCE staff is proud of the work done by BOUNCERS and their investment this week in Dallas! New roofs were put on houses and houses got new paint jobs. More importantly, the homeowners that students served were presented with the gospel through words and actions. At the end of the week, BOUNCERS presented their homeowners with a bible, a signed BOUNCE poster and a picture of the ministry team who served them. Teams also invited their homeowners to come to worship on Friday night. Two homeowners came and expressed their appreciation to BOUNCERS.
Kaitlynne Hicks, a 16 year-old BOUNCER from Crosswinds Community Church said...
German interns unveil unique ministry need in Europe
by Leah Reynolds on June 12, 2015 in profiles
LA GRANGE—While serving as interns at a Texas Baptist church, an engaged German couple, Christian and Henni, helped unveil an untapped ministry opportunity in much of Europe: the need for marriage counseling.
When Christian and Henni first met, Henni was not a believer in Christ and admittedly made bad decisions in her youth. As Christian stepped into her life, he opened her eyes to God and faith, which instilled many questions inside her heart.
Henni agreed to join Christian at a church baseball camp, where she was put on a team with Jonathan Smith, pastor of First Baptist Church in La Grange, Texas. She decided to accept Christ...
Bestowing confidence and honor on a Haitian family
by Guest Author on June 12, 2015 in great commission
After trekking through a winding uphill climb, we have arrived at a beautiful new home in the mountains. Our team is here to take part of the tradition of dedicating each new home that is built. The family members are present, along with a pastor and translator. A member of our team steps forward to present a Bible with an inscription inside to the family and prays with them as they dedicate this house to the Lord. Since arriving at LifeLine Christian Mission, we have been part of a couple of house dedications, but this one stands out in my mind. The father of the 10-plus household steps forward to speak. What he says next stops me...
Highlighting BOUNCE Worship
by Kyle Crim on June 11, 2015 in great commission
Some of the highlights of this week of BOUNCE have been what happens off of the worksite. Every evening, BOUNCERS join together in worship. It has been a refreshing time of reflection for many of the students. It is a time when students can sing praises to God and learn about His Word.
Worship speaker, Ryan Jespersen, has been speaking about the life of the Apostle Peter. He has been highlighting the times that Peter failed, but, ultimately, experienced triumph through grace. He has encouraged students to "step out of the boat (Matthew 14:29)" and put their trust Jesus, whether it be for salvation or being missional and bold in...
The world according to Benny
by Ferrell Foster on June 11, 2015 in culture
Plagiarize. Multiple times. Get fired. Get a better job. In what world does that progression of events make sense? Ours.
The story of Internet phenom Benny Johnson exemplifies today's web-based culture. Ben Terris captures the essence of Buzzfeed Benny well in a Washington Post article.
Benny climbed atop the "listicle" web world with some 500 posts in about a year and a half. Listicles are enticing. They offer the possibility of quick and quirky info that might make interesting conversation fodder at a party or online. Terris cites several of Benny's listicles – "19 Times American Politicians Tried to Look Normal and Failed;" "The...
An early morning prayer meeting in Haiti
by Guest Author on June 11, 2015 in great commission
The streets are dark. Angry and frightened dogs bark at us as we file down the humid, trash-filled streets. We walk in silence. The only sound we hear is sweet Matilde with her mega-phone, shouting in Creole for the neighborhood to wake up and join us. Our group of both Americans and Canadians keeps putting one foot in front of the other. We don't know how far we will walk, but we continue on in the 4 a.m. darkness.Every day, these men and women meet at 4:30 a.m. to pray. Gran Goave, the village Chandler and I are visiting, used to be one of the largest hubs of Voodoo in Haiti. Years ago, when Voodoo was still largely dominant...
BOUNCE is in full swing!
by Kyle Crim on June 10, 2015 in great commission
Today was the second day that BOUNCERS rehabilitated homes on their ministry worksites. Students are getting the hang of their various tasks and are genuinely excited and eager to continue working on their projects. Groups from all different churches are getting along well as they work together to share hope with the families they serve.
BOUNCE has been already covered by several media outlets this week, appearing on radio and in newspapers. Several students and leaders were willing to share some of their experiences so far from the week. Sutton Lowe, a second-time BOUNCER from First Baptist Church Lufkin, said that he enjoys BOUNCE...
Working yourself out of a job
by Ryan Jespersen on June 10, 2015 in great commandment
It may come in a meeting, time alone in your office, casual conversation … it's the thought that if you, as a pastor or church staffer, help lead your church down the road to truly reaching your community you may no longer be the right person to lead, due to demographics, age or some other factor. The church called you because you reflected the church, but now that the church is changing will you need to bow out? What will this mean to your family, your career and the rest of your ministry?
I pastored a church in an area of over 75 percent Hispanic of which 62 percent spoke Spanish at home. I had a wife and 2 small children to...
God opening doors in Germany
by Guest Author on June 10, 2015 in great commission
Before my teammate Kasey and I even arrived in Germany, God was opening doors at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, where we would be spending our summer doing outreach. Our supervisor Nick Howard went one day to check out the campus and get an idea of what we could do when we got there. He went to the Amerikanistik (English) Department, spoke with a secretary, and explained who he was and that we would be coming in the summer. He thought it might be of interest to them to have native speakers with whom students could practice English. As he was doing this, a girl named Carolin overheard their conversation and asked Nick...
Can I trust you?
by Aaron Summers on June 10, 2015 in faith
Anyone who has been in leadership long can recall a person they could not trust. Some people are obvious, others covert. Pastor Scott was approached by a woman and his stomach began to churn. She had never done anything suspicious. It was just a feeling. The Spirit was giving him a nudge that he should not completely buy into whatever was being said. Living in the jaded, skeptical society in which we do has created a community that does not trust. We have been burned. We have been cheated. We have been lied to as well. Maybe you have a face in your mind and a name on your heart of someone you know, or at least suspect, you can't...
BOUNCE work has begun!
by Kyle Crim on June 9, 2015 in great commandment
BOUNCERS kicked off their first day of work this morning with GO TIME! GO TIME is a rally where students participated in warm-up activities and relay races to prepare for the day ahead. Following this, BOUNCERS were prayed for and commissioned by Mission Coordinator Shawn Edwards to head into Dallas to begin rehabilitating homes! A total of nine ministry teams were sent out to work on various homes in South Dallas.
It was a hot day on the ministry worksites, but that didn't stop BOUNCERS from working hard. BOUNCERS scraped paint, worked on roofs and painted houses. Lunch this week for the ministry worksites is being provided by...
A burdened heart for the lost, Former FBC Shallowater pastor joins evangelism team
by Leah Reynolds on June 9, 2015 in news
Texas Baptists welcomes Mitch Wilson, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Shallowater, as director of church evangelism.
In his 19 years of pastoring at FBC Shallowater, which is located just seven miles outside of Lubbock, Wilson developed a burden for the lost and felt a tug on his heart to research data in Lubbock County. The burden became heavier as he discovered there were 160,000 unchurched people in the county, and he began shepherding his church to engage in more evangelism opportunities.
"I really believe that God then expanded my heart and that burden for the lost in the whole state instead of just Lubbock...
BOUNCERS arrive in Dallas!
by Kyle Crim on June 8, 2015 in great commandment
We are excited to say that all of our students arrived safely in Dallas! We welcomed 82 students and leaders from 5 different churches. FBC Rockwall, Spring Creek Fellowship of Big Spring, FBC Chilton, Crosswinds Community Church of Hobbs, NM and FBC Lufkin were the churches that brought BOUNCERS to serve with us this week.
There is a general sense of excitement and energy around our lodging facility. Students are eager to serve the community here, as they have been preparing spiritually for this week for quite some time. They are ready to witness to their homeowners through their construction projects.
Shortly after arriving...
Serving in Wiesbaden, Germany
by Guest Author on June 8, 2015 in great commission
The First Week
I can tell I'm in Germany because the other day, the smell of sausage and sauerkraut actually came drifting through the window. The first week here in Wiesbaden has been crazy, exciting, different, tiring, surprising and fun. So far, we have been getting oriented with different things: the church, the people, the language, the transportation. While adjusting to jet lag, we have explored the city and met people. It has been great to learn about what will be our home for the next several weeks.The People
I am incredibly thankful for the people I get to work alongside this summer. My teammate is delightful and fun, our...
Bounce Student Disaster Recovery kicks off this week!
by Kyle Crim on June 7, 2015 in great commandment
The BOUNCE staff is very excited to welcome all of our teams coming to serve with us in Dallas tomorrow! We're expecting around 85 students and leaders from FBC Rockwall, Spring Creek Fellowship of Big Spring, FBC Chilton, Crosswinds Community Church of Hobbs, NM and FBC Lufkin to serve with us this week. Students and staff will be lodged at Duncanville's First Baptist Church and will be rehabilitating homes in Dallas.
BOUNCE has also partnered with The City of Dallas' People Helping People and Dallas Baptist Association Churches to help make this week possible. We cannot express enough gratitude to our partners.
When disaster hits home
by Kalie Lowrie on June 5, 2015 in great commandment
WIMBERLEY - As Bobby Catt and his family were on vacation in his hometown of Wimberley over Memorial Day weekend, the flood waters rose and the small stream of the Blanco River swept homes off foundations and left many stranded.
Catt, who serves as a youth minister at First Baptist Church of San Angelo, knew as he assessed the damage on Monday morning he wanted to return as soon as possible to help his friends and former neighbors recover.
Nine days later, Catt and three members from his home church traveled to Wimberley to begin work. Their project was helping mud out the home of Catt's longtime friends and recover belongings that...
Is Your Website Worthy?
by Andrea Johnson on June 5, 2015 in comm shop
Every user who visits your website takes 10 seconds to answer this question. This means you have 10 seconds to hook your user through graphics, images and bold, concise headlines. The thing that will grab your user the quickest is a consistent look and feel. This is easy to achieve with logos and blocks of color, but it gets more difficult when you consider photographs. If you are using photographs from an array of events, it is likely each gives off a different mood through lighting and color. This has the potential to throw off your user and cause them to leave your site. Going into Photoshop and editing the photos to give them...
The Bible and family
by Ferrell Foster on June 4, 2015 in culture
Family stands at the core of our social existence. In an ideal world, a family includes a man, a woman, and children. The ideal is lifted up even though we face the reality that some families break apart or never exist as a committed whole.
The Bible talks about some very dysfunctional families. Cain killed his brother, Abel. Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister instead of his wife. Jacob and his mother connived to cheat Esau out of his inheritance. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. David committed adultery and ordered the murder of the offended husband. Solomon had way too many wives. Martha complained to Jesus about...
Cultural implications of Bruce becoming Caitlyn
by Ferrell Foster on June 4, 2015 in culture
The picture of a new person, Caitlyn Jenner, has intruded itself into our world. Bruce Jenner, the amazing male athlete of a few decades ago, has changed his gender, and the results are supposedly revealed in a Vanity Fair cover story.
Some people are talking about the courage it took for Bruce to become Caitlyn. Courage did not come to my mind when I saw the picture and story. Sadness came. I hurt for this person.
Bruce/Caitlyn has become the great exemplar of a movement to push transgender into the mainstream of society. Transgender is, of course, the "T" in LGBT and LGBTQ and LGBTQIA and a growing string of letters.
by Guest Author on June 3, 2015 in ministers spouses
As you know, there are many expectations of a minister's wife, but none more important than she have a growing relationship with the Lord, a powerful prayer life and an erudite knowledge of the Scriptures.
These expectations were very hard for me when David and I started our ministry in 1982 as I was a fairly new Christian. I had not been raised in the church or in a Christian family so I did not have any example to follow and a weak foundation. However, in 1987, the Lord gave a great gift to me towards my journey of faith, through Doris Shellabarger.
Doris and Dave joined our new church start in Flower Mound and immediately opened...
It's not about me. It's about Him.
by Guest Author on June 3, 2015 in great commission
Go Now Missions Orientation, a weekend of preparation for college-aged summer missionaries, took place from May 22-24 at Dallas Baptist University. I, Erin Turner, with four of my friends from the UT Arlington BSM, arrived before 2pm that Friday to check in and meet our tribes. We were all so excited to see what God would do that weekend!
My tribe (a group of missionaries that the Go Now staff put together based on trip/location) was made up of seven girls who would all be serving in the Houston area, or somewhere else in Texas. Our first activity was to make up a tribe name, motto and build a shield to represent that. To get...
Del Rio Church Responds to Tornado Disaster in Mexico
by Olivia Williams on June 2, 2015 in great commandment
After an F4 tornado struck Acuna, Mexico on Monday, May 25, First Baptist Church Del Rio responded by becoming a collection point for any churches willing to donate volunteers and resources for disaster recovery.
By partnering with a neighbor church, Templo Bautista Bethel, FBC Del Rio is sending long-term help and ministering to those affected by the tornado that killed 13 and injured over 200 residents of Acuna. Teams of volunteers from FBC Del Rio were sent to feed both the disaster recovery workers and the affected families.
Following the crucial support given by the volunteers of FBC Del Rio, Pastor Larry Floyd and...
by Rand Jenkins on June 1, 2015 in faith
We Texans like claiming things. I guess all states do, but who really cares that much about the state whatever of Oklahoma?
- Texas state flower: bluebonnet
- Texas state bird: mockingbird
- Texas state large animal: longhorn
- Texas state small animal: armadillo
- Texas state amphibian: Texas toad
- Texas state insect: monarch butterfly
- Texas state tree: pecan
- Texas state dish: chili
- Texas state cobbler: peach
- Texas state fruit: Texas red grapefruit
- Texas state flying mammal: Mexican free-tailed bat
If you want a much longer list of official Texas state items, click here.
A new official state item is in the works. This year, a representative from Houston...