February 2017

Texas Baptists form chaplaincy partnership with Virginia Baptists

DALLAS – At the Texas Baptists executive board on Feb. 22, a recommendation was approved to begin a partnership for chaplain endorsement on behalf of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV). Todd Combee, a retired military chaplain from Virginia, was present at the meeting to affirm the partnership.

“Virginia Baptists are very excited about this partnership allowing us to minister to chaplains in our area, as well as BGAV chaplains who will be a part of this process,” said Combee, pastor of New Bethesda Baptist Church in Mechanicsville, VA.

During the Texas Baptists Chaplain Endorsement Council meeting on Feb. 21,... [continue]

Last Week Today: A Dispatch from the Capitol

On Monday, I was privileged to testify before the House Human Services Committee on HB 4. 

HB 4 authored by Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Mesquite) would increase financial support for relatives who take in children who must be removed from their birth parents--kinship care. 

One way to improve our child welfare system is to help kids stay with their extended families. Strengthening kinship care is one of the solutions developed by the Texas House Child Welfare Working Group, which had been tasked by Speaker Straus to come up with recommendations for improving our child welfare system. 

Research has shown that children who are placed... [continue]

DBU Patriettes use dance to share the Gospel in England

This January, the Dallas Baptist University dance team, the Patriettes, travelled to Northern England to spend a week in ministry, using their gift of dance to spread the love of Christ.

The trip was the second time the team has traveled overseas as a part of DBU Athletics’ Global Sports Mission Initiative program, allowing various athletic teams to travel internationally on mission once every four years. This year, the team connected with UKUSA Ministries and served in the communities of Teeside and York.

The team spent the week in area schools, assisting as guest instructors in dance, drama and religious education classes... [continue]

A look at the new BaptistWay Press study - Power & Purpose: God Unveils the Universe

In the beginning… God! From the very first words of the Bible, we learn that it is a book about God. The Bible is about who God is and what God has done. He revealed himself as the Creator of the universe whose powerful words brought forth everything that has ever been created.

In the first 11 chapters of Genesis, we see history on a universal scale. We learn about the beginnings of the earth, the plants and animals and the crowning achievement of God’s creation: human beings. We also discover how sin enters the world and the devastating effects it has on everything and everyone God created. Fortunately, we also recognize God... [continue]

Impacting Lives, Transforming Generations

In 1994, Dellanna O'Brien, Executive Director of WMU, SBC was riding with a directors of missions (DOM) on the way to the airport after an associational meeting. He was telling his story of being a young boy growing up poor in the very area he was called to served. His widowed mother moved the family to town to secure a job just a block away from the Baptist church that would become his second family.  When he graduated from high school, one woman from the church asked him what he planned to do. His quick response was, “Work for a year to save money for college.” Church members stepped up and helped pay for four years of college... [continue]

Executive Board announces financial support for pastors, approves new chaplaincy partnership

DALLAS – “We must stay centered, keeping our hearts and our minds on Jesus,” President Danny Reeves told Executive Board members during the Feb. 21-22 meeting in Dallas. Responding to recent factors around the world and the seeming messiness of life, Reeves encouraged fellow Texas Baptists to turn to Christ and point others to Him for direction.

Steve Vernon, associate executive director, announced that Texas Baptists has received a $1 million implementation grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to participate in its National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.

Through the grant, Texas Baptists will... [continue]

Texas Baptists joins with FBC Waxahachie to send $10,000 in relief to drought-stricken Kenya

When Vaughn Ross, mission team member at First Baptist Church of Waxahachie, received word from Pastor Simon Mwangi in Nairobi, Kenya that the three-year drought in North-Central Kenya was transitioning from severe to acute, he reached out to his church and Texas Baptists for support.

Mwangi, pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church in Nairobi, reports that immediate intervention is needed for close to 54,000 Samburu people who are facing starvation. Koinonia Church and FBC Waxahachie have a partnership to minister to the Samburu people in Maralal and Mwangi has been updating the Texas church on increasingly dangerous conditions for the... [continue]

Texas Baptists awarded $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment to assist pastors

DALLAS – The Baptist General Convention of Texas has been awarded a $1 million implementation grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to participate in its National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.

Through the grant, Texas Baptists will create a Center for Ministerial Excellence, which will conduct regional financial retreats for pastors and laity, award financial grants of up $5,000 to pastors facing economic challenges and recruit a statewide network of financial planners to help Texas Baptists pastors seeking financial advice.  

“As a pastor, I am well aware that financial struggles can impact a... [continue]

What’s not in your wallet?

If your wallet is like mine, it’s easier to put things into it than take them out. I also find that I want to have all the important personal information with me – just in case. My overly-stuffed wallet sends a message that I have a lot of cash or – these days – credit and debit cards in my wallet. Not that the ladies are exempt – in a store not long ago, I watched a lady dig through a plethora of cards to find the one that had enough credit on it (that’s a subject for another article) to buy what she wanted. Had I slipped one of those cards out of her stack, she would have never missed it until she got the bill.

Even a casual... [continue]

Becoming Family: Professional development for women transforms lives, fosters relationships

By Jaclyn Bonner

If not for the Heart of Texas Christian Women’s Job Corps sign, you could easily overlook the modest, beige, and olive-colored house on Coggin Avenue in Brownwood.

CWJC is home to transformative learning opportunities and holistic development for women. Established in Brownwood in 2003, the mission of the Heart of Texas branch of CWJC is to “care, guide, and equip women in a Christian environment,” explained Casey Moore, the director. CWJC is a ministry of Texas WMU.

The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering partners with Coggin Avenue Baptist Church to join a network of local churches and volunteers who support this... [continue]


por Ali Hearon y Kathryn Freeman 1.  La oportunidad de trabajar y conectarse con activistas e iglesias con intereses afines a los suyos 

El Día del Activismo ofrece la gran oportunidad de conocer y aprender de otros que están interesados en abogar por los problemas que son importantes para usted. ¿Alguna vez ha pensado en organizar un equipo de activistas o un ministerio de justicia en su iglesia? Tendremos personas en el Día del Activismo que le pueden ayudar a comenzar uno. 

2.  La experiencia de caminar por el Capitolio en su mejor 

¡Arreglarse es divertido, o al menos, lo es para nosotros! De modo que póngase su... [continue]


No se engañen: de Dios nadie se burla. Cada uno cosecha lo que siembra. El que siembra para agradar a su naturaleza pecaminosa, de esa misma naturaleza cosechará destrucción; el que siembra para agradar al Espíritu, del Espíritu cosechará vida eterna. No nos cansemos de hacer el bien, porque a su debido tiempo cosecharemos si no nos damos por vencidos. Por lo tanto, siempre que tengamos la oportunidad, hagamos bien a todos, y en especial a los de la familia de la fe. (Gálatas 6:7-10, NVI)

Pablo exhortó a la iglesia de Galacia a no desanimarse, pues él probablemente sabía que el desánimo fácilmente puede abrumar a aquellos... [continue]


Por Patty Lane

Los refugiados se encuentran entre mis héroes. Han sobrevivido lo impensable y vivido con miedo y pobreza por años antes de haber venido a los Estados Unidos. La mayoría se han armado de valor para aprender un nuevo idioma, han encontrado trabajo, formado un nuevo hogar y mandado a sus hijos a las escuelas con personas de las que no saben nada. No importa cómo han sido sus vidas, tienen la esperanza de un mejor futuro.

Empecemos con la información más básica: ¿Qué es un refugiado? De acuerdo a la Organización de Naciones Unidas Organización de Naciones Unidas, un refugiado es “la persona que se ha... [continue]

The friendly but friendless pastor’s wife

“I thought Hell would freeze over before she spoke to me.”

Those were the words spoken about me by a lady in the church where Jason and I first served. She told another lady in town, and that lady told me.

I'm certain she genuinely felt ignored. I was truly crushed. I had indeed spoken to her, and to the best of my ability, I had spoken to everybody else.  Besides our brevity in having arrived at that church, I was twenty-four with a three-year-old who’d tried to do somersaults during the children's sermon.

Every Sunday, I would welcome people in the sanctuary, careful not to be so brief in my greeting that I seemed like a... [continue]

Healthy Lunches, Brighter Minds: Nutritional meals for children help entire family

By Jaclyn Bonner

It is rare to find third graders who are eager to eat their fruits and vegetables, but every day 9-year-old José Chanco excitedly tells his family about the nutritious lunch he eats at the Operación San Andrés’ educational enrichment program for children in Collique, Lima, Peru.

José attends Fe y Alegría, a local primary school. He is one of about 170 children served through two OSA hunger alleviation programs.

Through the Living Water-OSA program, he is able to spend weekday mornings at OSA House. He benefits not only from healthy lunches that include fruit, vegetables, meat, and rice but also gets guidance... [continue]

Christian Life Commission to host Advocacy Day in Austin for Texas Baptists

AUSTIN - Texas Baptists’ Christian Life Commission will host 2017 Advocacy Day Feb. 28-March 1 in Austin for ministers, leaders, students and advocates. Workshops and general sessions will be held at Hyde Park Baptist Church Tuesday, Feb. 28, and appointments with legislative offices will take place at the Capitol building Wednesday, March 1.

Featured speakers for Advocacy Day include Vincent Bacote, professor at Wheaton College, and Gabe Lyons, co-author of Good Faith (2016), unChristian (2007) and author of The Next Christians (2010). Workshops will feature a variety of pivotal policy issues including religious liberty... [continue]

Civility. The Impossible Task?

Civility. The Impossible Task?

What words would you use to describe the discourse in our nation today? Several years ago I read Os Guinness’ book, The Case for Civility. With these words,he paints the reason we need a return to civility. “Name-calling, insult, ridicule, guilt by association, caricature, innuendo, accusation, denunciation, negative ads, and deceptive and manipulative videos have replaced deliberation and debate. Neither side talks to the other side, only about them.”

As Christ followers, we have the opportunity to speak into the conversation in a different way, with politeness and respect saturated with the... [continue]

6 ways to serve refugees

By Patty Lane

Refugees are some of my heros. They have endured the unthinkable and lived in fear and in poverty for years before arriving in the United States. For the most part, they muster up the courage to learn a new language, find a new job, create a new home, and send their children to schools with people they know nothing about. They do it because they have to, because they are survivors. No matter what life has been, they have a hope of a better future.

Let’s start with the basics. What is a refugee?

According to the United Nations, a refugee is "someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of... [continue]

7 Reasons to Attend CLC Advocacy Day

1.  The opportunity to network and connect with like-minded advocates and churches.

Advocacy Day provides a great opportunity to meet and learn from others who are interested in advocated on the issues important to you. Have you thought about starting an advocacy team or justice ministry at your church? We’ll have some folks at Advocacy Day who can help you get started.

2.  The feeling of walking through the Capitol in your Sunday’s Best

Maybe it’s just us, but dressing up is fun! So bring your favorite dresses and ties to Austin for your meetings with your elected officials on Wednesday morning. (Tuesday is business... [continue]

Teaching children the power of worship

Worship involves an intimate relationship with God, Kathleen Chapman told attendees at Children’s Worship University (CWU), hosted by Texas Baptists Music & Worship at First Baptist Church Lewisville on Jan. 20-21. Chapman, author of Teaching Kids Authentic Worship, served as the featured speaker at the training event for Preschool and Children's choir and worship leaders.

“When you start worshipping, your life will be forever changed,” Chapman said.

Chapman shared that many times it is easier for a child to understand the concept of worship because of their belief systems.

“They [children] don’t come in with the doubts and... [continue]

Bacote: Some practical help to sustain your public witness

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. -- Apostle Paul (Galatians 6:7-10)

Paul encouraged the church in Galatia to not grow weary because he probably knew weariness can so easily overtake those who seek to do what is good and... [continue]

What does your church sign say about you?

One of the best and worst tools a church has is a sign that can regularly be changed. The reason I say the best and the worst is because of the way that churches choose to use the sign.  Ed Stetzer is famous for the various pictures he shares on a blog of church signs and the different sayings that people put on them. When doing a message for the church sign, the question should always be asked, “How does this communicate with someone who does not go to church?”  

One of the signs Stetzer shares is “Cross Eyed People have the Best Vision.” As believers we understand what that means, for it is a cute, pithy statement. Most... [continue]

Johnson Amendment protects interests of both church and government

Kathryn Freeman, public policy director of the Christian Life Commission, released the following statement in response to President Trump's announced intention to do away with the Johnson Amendment:

“President Trump said Thursday he would destroy a centerpiece of church-state separation in the the United States -- the Johnson Amendment. This 1954 amendment has clearly protected the tax-exempt status of churches as non-political entities dedicated to the common good of our communities, states and nation. Pastors are free now to express their views on political issues, but they cannot endorse political candidates as a function of

... [continue]

Green Acres hosts church safety workshop for Texas Baptists church leaders

TYLER -- Texas Baptists, a state-wide denomination, is hosting the first of nine regional Church Safety Workshops at Green Acres Baptist Church on February 9. The workshop will be led by MinistrySafe founder and president Greg Love. MinistrySafe is a national and industry leader in sexual abuse risk reduction with a mission to protect children and those who serve them.

“Texas Baptists takes very seriously the safety of children at church,” said Dr. David Hardage, Texas Baptists executive director. “We are taking a proactive approach in providing the proper training for church leaders to ensure a safe environment for children.”


Being and finding a friend

You can't develop a friendship without, at some point, engaging in friendly behavior. Simple gestures including a smile, small talk and sitting with someone doesn't make you a friend, but rather provides companionship and a spark of godly love. God grows friendships. This growth requires our willingness to be used, to be selfless, to trust him and be patient.

As a God-sent friend:

Be aware

When recently asking women about the difficulty of making and keeping close friendships, an overwhelming number shared their feelings of being an outsider in their community and church. Having been raised in another another town, another... [continue]