October 2016

After a season of harsh words, may we find new ones to heal

A few weeks ago I stopped posting on social media about the presidential campaign. I had not taken sides. I stopped posting because I didn’t trust myself. I was beginning to get angry and wanting to say mean things, to use unkind labels, to disrespect.

It’s been hard to not comment, but I’m glad I refrained. My anger and meanness would not have been of any help to my family, friends, or me.

Now we near the end, and I wonder how the vitriolic language of this campaign will affect us as a people going forward. (I'm not speaking of policy disagreements and discussion of facts; I'm speaking of the name-calling, fear-mongering, and... [continue]

Americans care less about personal immorality in politicians

Americans today are more likely to say elected officials can act ethically in office even if they have behaved immorally in their personal lives, according to a PRRI/Brookings survey Oct. 19. And white evangelical Protestants are even more likely to hold this view.

Sixty-one percent of Americans say “immoral personal behavior does not preclude public officials from carrying out their public or professional duties with honesty and integrity.” Only 29 percent disagree. This compares to a 2011 survey that recorded a 44 percent-44 percent split on the question.

The biggest change came among white evangelical Protestants (WEPs), with... [continue]

Changing drug laws change the road

David Aggio drove into a California intersection in the middle of the day in March 2014. Another driver, Rodolfo Alberto Contreras, ran the red light traveling at close to 80 mph, lost control, crossed the center divider, and struck Aggio's oncoming Ford Explorer. Aggio died instantly, according to channel 23 in Bakersfield.

This year, a jury convicted Contreras of "second degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while impaired by marijuana, and DUI by marijuana causing injury. In the almost six years that the District Attorney has had a DUI-focused specialized unit, this is the first conviction for murder by someone impaired... [continue]

Ninety years to make a life

Ninety years ago today a young sharecropping couple celebrated a birth and named the baby Ferrell but would call him Gene. He grew up with Texas dirt literally between his barefoot toes in the sandhills of East Texas near Athens. A dream grew up with him -- to be a wealthy cattleman like his maternal grandfather.

But life takes an interesting course. Gene dropped out of high school to take a job in Dallas, finished school at night, served in the Army in the Pacific as World War II wound down, returned to Dallas to work and take a bride, fathered a daughter and son, bought a small place near his hometown, took a promotion to a... [continue]

NAMB SEND Relief Encouraging Texas Baptists Churches to Send Volunteers to Louisiana

The North American Mission Board “SEND Relief” is operating a Volunteer Housing/Reception Center in Gonzales, LA to assist families affected by the September flooding in the Southeast part of the state. Over 40,000 homes flooded leaving a path of destruction across 14 different Parishes (Counties).

Volunteers are needed to repair homes in the Greater Baton Rouge area.

“No Yellow Cap training is needed for this long term disaster recovery project,” said Cathy Miller of NAMB, who is coordinating this effort along with a wonderful team of faithful volunteers. Miller encourages volunteers to join this effort and really see people... [continue]


¡Buenas noticias! El


 de la Ofrenda contra el Hambre está listo para que usted lo vea.

“La Ofrenda contra el Hambre de los Bautistas de Texas en acción en España” se enfoca en el ministerio de repartición de alimentos de la Iglesia Evangélica Bautista en Cerdanyola, España, un ministerio de la Ofrenda contra el Hambre.

El video presenta a Antonia y Pedro, una pareja con problemas financieros debido a la crisis económica del 2008 en España. Después de recibir ayuda respondieron al llamado de servir a su comunidad diariamente en agradecimiento por lo que se les había dado.

Hay dos versiones del video: La con una duración... [continue]


Soontorn Inthayok es obrero de día y guardia medio tiempo, y el principal sustento de su familia en el norte de Tailandia. El hombre de 49 años de edad provee para su hermana mayor, que tiene una discapacidad mental, y su hijo, que asiste a una escuela técnica. Además, se sobrepone a su propia deshabilidad personal para llevar a casa aproximadamente $300 dólares al mes. Aunque Soontorn trabaja muy duro, a menudo los gastos mensuales de comida, servicios y colegiatura son mucho más de lo que gana.

Cuando Soontorn supo que había sido elegido para participar en el Proyecto Avícola y Ganadero de SDSU, le dio mucha alegría. Recibió... [continue]

How 25 chickens transformed a family - a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering Story

Soontorn Inthayok is a day laborer and part-time guard, serving as the primary wage earner for his family in Northern Thailand. The 49-year-old provides for his older sister, who is mentally disabled, and his son, who is attending technical college. He also overcomes his personal disability to bring home earnings of approximately $300 US dollars per month. While Soontorn works extremely hard, often the monthly expenses of food, utilities and tuition are more than what he earns.

When Soontorn learned he was selected to participate in the SDSU Chicken and Cattle Farming Project, he was elated. He received training on budgeting... [continue]

Questions to keep conversation flowing in your marriage

Ever run out of things to talk about? Maybe it’s because we work and serve together, but more often than not, Cory and I find ourselves gravitating toward conversations that center around ’church stuff,’ i.e. upcoming events or meetings, things going on in this family or in that family, even venting our ministry frustrations and heartaches. It’s so reassuring to be on the same page in our ministries, but our communication can easily become focused on external things, and we may miss out on growing in relational intimacy in the process.

If you’ve ever felt that way, or if you just need some ideas to get to know each other on a... [continue]

Last 5th Sunday Hunger Offering of Year and New Video Released

Good news! The new Hunger Offering video is now released and ready to watch.

“Texas Baptist Hunger Offering at work in Spain” highlights Iglesia Evangelica Bautista’s food pantry in Cerdanyola, Spain, a Hunger Offering ministry. 

The video introduces Antonia and Pedro, a couple who struggled financially due to the Spanish economic crash in 2008. After receiving assistance, they answered the call to give back and serve their community on a weekly basis. 

There are two versions of the video. The full-length version is two-and-a-half minutes, while the short version is only a minute long. Both videos are bilingual in Spanish and... [continue]

Youth ministers at Conclave encouraged to promote racial reconciliation within churches

Racial reconciliation should begin through believers in the church, according to Bryan Carter, pastor of Concord Church in Dallas. Rather than relying on law enforcement, or looking to the government and society to break down racial tensions, Carter and Jeff Warren encouraged youth ministers to promote change within their own congregations. The two pastors were interviewed by Jane Wilson, youth discipleship specialist, during the Leadership Tuesday session of Youth Ministry Conclave on October 11 in Arlington.

“I would encourage you, as student pastors, to lead the way. Lead from the bottom up,” Warren, pastor of Park Cities... [continue]

El conducir un auto es reflejo del carácter

El conducir por la autopista interestatal 35 entre Austin y Dallas-Fort Worth es navegar en medio de obstáculos de construcción, tráfico pesado y accidentes frecuentes. Puede convertirse en una tarea tensa y aburrida.

Esta semana hice un experimento. Puse el piloto automático en la velocidad límite y quité el pie del acelerador. La velocidad máxima entre Austin y el Metroplex varía entre 60 a 75 millas por hora y a menudo cambia, de modo que se requiere ajustar el piloto automático muchas veces.

No le va a sorprender si le digo lo que experimenté al conducir a la velocidad máxima permitida por la ley. La inmensa mayoría de los... [continue]

Driving says something about character

Driving on Interstate 35 between Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth is like navigating an obstacle course of construction, heavy traffic, and frequent crashes. It can be a tense, mind-numbing task.

This week I tried an experiment. I set my cruise control on the speed limit and gave my right foot a rest. The speed limit between Austin and the Metroplex varies from 60 to 75 and changes quite often, so it requires multiple resettings of the cruise.

You will not be surprised by what I experienced by driving the fastest speed allowed by law. The vast majority of cars zoomed by on my left. Some crowded right up behind as if they wanted to... [continue]

When They Say the Wrong Thing

Speechless. Flabbergasted. I walked away from that brief one-sided conversation at church, not knowing if I should laugh or cry. Why would this person say something like that to me? I know his particular personality, quick-witted and humorous, always with something funny to say. I knew his comment was most likely not intended to ruin my day or cause me mental grief for the next few years. So, after obsessively dwelling on it all afternoon, I ended up having a conversation with myself and told myself I needed to lighten up.

As a pastor’s wife, I realize that sometimes I can be too sensitive about what church people say. Sometimes... [continue]

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery to assist Hurricane-damaged Haiti

Updated October 11, 2016

  • Texas Baptists Missionaries Ernie and Sharon Rice, currently serving in Haiti, are providing updates on needs in hardest hit areas - Grand-Goâve, Petit-Goâve and Jérémie.
  • At least 336 people have died since Hurricane Matthew struck on Oct. 4.
  • Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery has approved funds to assist with immediate needs following Hurricane Matthew.
  • Funds given to TBDR will be used to purchase food, water and cleaning supplies.

Hurricane Matthew has left behind widespread destruction across Haiti. At least 336 people have died since the Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Haiti last... [continue]

Dan Curry joins Texas Baptists as Area Representative in North Texas

Texas Baptists welcomed Dan Curry to the staff as the new Area Representative for Area 9 from Fort Worth to Wichita Falls, effective Monday, October 3. As an Area Representative, Curry will serve as a connection to local churches and ministers in the area, providing help whenever a need arises such as for training, during a pastorless period or assistance with declining or plateaued churches. Click here to view a map of our Area Representatives.

Curry has served in ministry across Texas for more than four decades, with pastorates in Coahoma, Tahoka and a longtime tenure of 24 years at South Oaks Baptist Church in Arlington. He has... [continue]

Respuesta al llamado en hacer justicia

“Estoy en Birmingham porque hay injusticia aquí”, son las palabras del Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. en su famosa “Carta desde la cárcel de Birmingham”, en la cual desafiaba a los cristianos a salir de las sombras e involucrarse en la lucha por la justicia y la igualdad. Estos hombres habían criticado que King los conminara a tener paciencia y dominio propio en lugar de levantarse en protestas en Birmingham. Hoy, como en ese entonces, los cristianos se ven en la tentación de ignorar la injusticia. Algunos solo dicen “predica el evangelio”, pero nosotros debemos conectarnos cuando somos testigos de injusticias si vamos a ser fieles a... [continue]

Texas Baptists to celebrate service at Annual Meeting in Waco

Texas Baptists are “Celebrating Service” at the Annual Meeting in Waco Nov. 13-15, recognizing the work of partnering institutions. The program features world-class workshops and exceptional speakers, as well as wonderful worship music and exhibits that tell Texas Baptists’ stories.

Sunday, November 13, kicks off with several evening rallies including Hispanic Ministries, African American Ministries, Cowboy Churches and BSM leaders.

Cleophus LaRue, Princeton Theological Seminary’s Francis Landey Patton Professor of Homiletics, will preach Monday evening’s sermon. Lee Strobel, New York Times best-selling author and professor of... [continue]

Answering the call to justice

“I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.” These words are from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” in which he challenged fellow clergy to get off the sidelines and get involved in the struggle for equality and justice. These clergymen had criticized King, urging patience and restraint rather than protests in Birmingham. Today, just as then, there is a temptation for Christians to ignore injustice. Some will say just "preach the Gospel," but we must engage where we see injustice if we are to be faithful to our call as Christians and Baptists.

We are not faithful to the Gospel, if it has no... [continue]

What If You Just Ask?!

In my early days of pastoral ministry, I met two of the “big” pastors in my city at a local event for pastor types. By big, I mean they led the two largest churches in the city and county, each one preaching to over 1,500 on any given Sunday. Considering I was usually preaching to about 50, that was huge.

I came home feeling intimidated. I wondered what it would be like to be them. You know, studs. Ha!

No really, what I wanted to do was get close to them and see what I could learn from them. They were each 10-15 years ahead of me in ministry experience, and I truly believed they had some lessons and advice from which I could... [continue]

George C. Marshall y la importance del dominio propio

Me pregunto cuántos estadounidenses hoy en día están familiarizados con el nombre y las hazañas de una de las personas más importantes del siglo XX: George C. Marshall.

Marshall fue el autor de una de las victorias militares más importantes de la historia –La Segunda Guerra Mundial—y después de la guerra dio forma a uno de los logros más importantes para la paz en la época de postguerra, lo que ahora se conoce como el Plan Marshall. En resumen, Marshall nos guió en la derrota de nuestros enemigos y después los convirtió en nuestros amigos. ¡Verdaderamente sorprendente!

David Brooks, columnista del New York Times, resalta a... [continue]