Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Max Lucado

I need some help. I have heard of people making the following statement in the form of a question, and some have said it to me: "Did you know Max Lucado doesn't believe in baptism anymore?" So, I figured the best thing to do was to go the Oak Hills web site and see what statements I could find concerning baptism. Here is a link to where I went: http://www.oakhillschurchsa.org/About/Vision/

I went to the section titled "Baptism" and clicked on it and found 9 pages advocating baptism because of scripture. So, you can see my confusion.
I am trying to figure out the reason these people are making this statement about our brother Max NOT believing in baptism.

Can somebody clear this up for me?

Saturday, November 27, 2004


Just some reflections and observations from this Holiday time with family. Does it get ANY better than being with family? I believe the older we get the more we realize what the blessing of family really means. I guess it is that way with most things, huh? DUH! My mom can still fix a Thanksgiving meal fit for Kings! She is AMAZING! I have told both my boys that I honestly feel extremely sorry for the shoes their respective wives are going to try and fill when it comes to cooking, because their mom and two grand-mommas are the 3 best cooks that I have EVER known.
If we eat in heaven, those 3 are going to be in charge of the meals....end of story.

We listened to one of the wildest High School football games on the radio last night that I have ever heard of. Harding Academy lost 58-51 to Jessieville. I think each team left it's defense in the locker room or on the bus. Jessieville had 4 players rush for MORE than 100 yards! The QB for HA threw for more than 600 yards and 6 TD's, while one of the receivers had over 300 yards in receptions! Talk about a track meet. I went to the bathroom once, and 3 TDs were scored while I was in there....no kidding. It's a shame one of these teams had to lose after that kind of offensive out-put. It's on to basketball for HA. Congrats to the Seniors who finished with an 11-2 season! Thanks Kreg Kell and crew for some wonderful memories and a State Championship as sophomores.

Did you read where Jermaine Jackson of the Jackson Five is getting a divorce? That is not all that news-worthy, but the article I read happened to mention the names of his two children. I can't remember one child's name, but the other one is named "Jermajesty". I kid you not! Who in their right mind would do that to an innocent child? My first reaction was to fall out in the floor laughing, then I wanted to cry. Is it ignorance or cruelty? Either way it is a tragedy.

Lastly, I noticed that someone who's opinion and wisdom I hold in the HIGHEST regard commented on one of my blogs lately.....and that person is David Hall from Oklahoma. David is a very successful eye doctor, and an even better dad and husband. He has spiritual wisdom beyond his years, and is a constant encouragement to me. David met Suzette Huffaker (who like me is from Florence, Alabama) here at Harding in the 80's and started a wonderful family. I love him, Suzie, Brent and sweet Ashley very much! Keep up the good work brother, being light and salt in the Sooner state!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What If?

What if you found an educated person who had never heard of the Bible or any spiritual concepts, and you gave them the New Testament to read on their own with the understanding that when they completed reading it, they would come back to you to visit? What truths or principles do you think they would say they found? What do you think would be some of their questions?

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there in blog world!
God is good!

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Lord's Supper

As usual, I won't be saying anything that hasn't already been said or written.....but I want to get your take on my perception of something. All 2 or 3 of you please comment so that I can get a feel for if I am on track or not.

Here goes: I know it's about the heart. I know HOW we do something is not as important as where our heart is while we are doing it. I hope you are as thankful for that as I am, because if it were about doing it "right", all of us would be in a pickle.......agree? We humans seem to be successful at just one thing......messing things up. You better believe you can count on us to do that. It's been going on from Adam and Eve to me and you. Having said all of that, especially the disclaimer about it being about the heart.........is there any part of the Sunday assembly (I am trying to quit using the term "worship service" because I know every day is supposed to be one of those) that we have messed up MORE than "the Lord's Supper"? By messed up I mean this.......gotten away from the original intent. I am not accusing anybody of getting things messed up on purpose. I know that you can't do things with a large gathering of people like you can in a small intimate setting, like a New Testament house church. I hope you appreciate my willingness to expose my ignorance, but is there an example in the New Testament when the Lord's Supper was NOT part of a regular meal? I am not implying that it would be WRONG to have it outside of a meal, but wouldn't you agree if EVERY time we see it happening in the New Testament it is part of a bigger fellowship meal we might want to at least do it sometimes as opposed to NEVER?!?!?! After all, aren't we the ones who hammer others for not following a "New Testament pattern"? Please don't hear me saying the way we do it at the present is WRONG.....I just am wondering out loud if maybe we aren't cheating ourselves of something really special. Maybe not in all places, but most places within our fellowship the Lord's Supper is something we "have" to do, and the quicker the better. If that does not describe what takes place at your congregation, then I need to say two things.........forgive me, and then let me know where you are because I for SURE want to visit your congregation!

So what is the solution? I hope you weren't depending on this pea-brain to have any answers. I AM willing to pea-brainstorm with you. I know this brings us to the form vs function discussion. I will leave that one for you scholars. But wouldn't a starting place be that maybe we plan a Sunday fellowship meal that would include this special meal once in a blue moon? Hey here is another bold suggestion......what if we didn't have a time limit on our Sunday assemblies? Radical concept, huh? Especially if it meant missing the Cowboys or Packers one Sunday. Oh the sacrifices this discipleship stuff brings! :) I wonder how many people who don't see us offering anything special at the present might rethink that if we invited them to be part of a meal with us? Especially the poor and outcast. Heaven forbid they "use" us to meet their physical needs.

Like I said, none of these thoughts or suggestions are anywhere close to being original........but it has really been on my heart these past few days and I knew I could count on some of you to tell me I am looney tunes or a trouble maker, and worst case scenerio the dreaded "change agent"!! :) Is it a stretch to think that Jesus might have been labeled one of those? I know he was called much worse.

Ok, I am ready for some of you to unload on me. If I can't take it from those I love, who can I take it from? In the words of Bill Withers "keep on using me, till you use me up"! :) Thanks for listening.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Simple Gospel

Over the last few months I have heard a section of 2nd Corinthians a whole bunch of times. I have to conclude that HE wants to me to continue to hear it so that I will be transformed into HIS likeness more than I am at the present. I can't even recall who all I have heard quote it or read it........but I promise it keeps ringing in my ears. I don't know if you can boil it down any simpler than this. This is the Gospel, pure and simple. If I were starting to study with an unbeliever today, I think this might be a good place to start. For you and me, it might be a good place to start over.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As God's fellow workers, we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain".

When God looks at you and me, he sees Jesus. Talk about identity theft! But the good news is that we CAN be transformed into his likeness by walking in his steps and fixing our eyes on HIM...the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In the book "Just Like Jesus", Max Lucado says that God accepts you where you are, but he won't let you stay there. He wants you to be just like Jesus.

Are you saved? Live like it, and be tranformed by his love, mercy and grace.

I John 2:5-6 "This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Election

I have not said very much about politics on this blog......maybe if I had I would have gotten more comments! :) EVERYBODY has an opinion when it comes to politics. I think that is a good thing. Since everybody has an opinion, that means I have one too and so today I am going to give an opinion on one aspect of the election. Please don't tell me I am wrong......just tell me you disagree with me. There is no right and wrong when it comes to opinions, is there?

I am encouraged! There you have it, a three worded opinion. Do you want to ask why? The answer is because when asked what influenced their voting the MOST, Americans answered by saying "moral values". Isn't that good news? I think it is! How could it NOT be good news? People are more concerned about morality than they are about the economy or the war. Gotta say, it restores some faith I had lost in the American people. Ok,ok...........some of you will want to remind me that we are NOT a Christian nation and never have been and that I shouldn' portray the US in such glowing terms. I would rather focus on what we ARE instead of what we aren't....at least for one day, OK? So don't rain on my parade today, please. I choose to be positive today, and to see the glass half full instead of half-empty.
The FACT is that on election day, Americans stood up for good things and showed with their vote that they value moral principals. That wasn't just from one poll, it was from EVERY poll that I have seen.....even by the media. Even the media also agrees that "Moral Values" is code for abortion and gay marriage. Most Americans don't approve of abortion, and they believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. If you don't agree with that statement, your beef is not with me....it's with the facts that came back after the election........your beef is with HARD EVIDENCE.

So, I have a restored faith in our country and it's people. Are we perfect? VERY far from it! Are most of the people in our country trying to be a disciple of Christ? I doubt it. People who do those kinds of study could answer that a lot better than me. BUT ENOUGH OF OUR CITIZENS BELIEVE IN MORAL VALUES THAT IT MADE THE DIFFERENCE IN THE ELECTION OF OUR PRESIDENT, AND FOR THAT I AM THANKFUL! Does that mean that those who voted for the other candidate DIDN'T have moral values? Of course NOT! In fact the truth is, that could have been the VERY reason they voted for the other candidate.....which just supports my position. If they thought he would uphold moral values better, then moral values is still the victor....and that is why I am so encouraged!

May God bless America, and every other country in the world and may we in America continue to value things that God would have us value.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Zax

One of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories is the story of the North-Going Zax and the South-Going Zax. Here is the complete unedited story. I try and read it at least every few months. Was Dr. Seuss wise or what?

The Zax

One day, making tracks
In the prarie of Prax,
Came a North-Going Zax
And a South-Going Zax

And it happened that both of them came to a place
Where they bumped. There they stood.
Foot to foot. Face to Face.

"Look here, now!" the North-Going Zax said. "I say!
You are blocking my path. You are right in my way.
I'm a North-Going Zax, and I always go north.
Get out of my way, now, and let me go forth!"

"Who's in whose way?" snapped the South-Going Zax.
"I always go south, making south-going tracks.
So you're in MY way! And I ask you to move
And let me go south in my south-going groove."

Then the North-Going Zax puffed his chest up with pride.
"I never," he said, "take a step to one side.
And I'll prove to yhou that I won't change my ways
If I have to keep standing here fifty-nine days!"

"And I'll prove to YOU," yelled the South-Going Zax,
"That I can stand here in the prairie of Prax
For fifty-nine YEARS! For I live by a rule
That I learned as a boy back in South-Going School.
I'll stay here, not budging! I can and I will
If it makes you and me and the whole world stand still!"

Of course the world didn't stand still. The world grew.
In a couple of years, the new highway came through
And they built it right over those two stubborn Zax
And left them standing un-budged in their tracks.

The End

I feel quite confident that those of you that have read this story will never forget the drawing on the last page, and how totally stupid the two Zaxs appear because the highways are packed with traffic going all around and above them, and there they stand, clueless. Make application as you wish.....assuming the shoe fits.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Angels Among Us

Did anybody else out there really like the "Alabama" song from a few years ago that had to do with angels being among us? I for sure did! Everybody probably feels this way about their community, but I KNOW this community has many angels among us.
We lost one this past week when we lost Barbara Moore. Seems like we have been losing too many in the past few months.......Barby Smith and Bill Harris to name two more. It has impacted me to the point that I am going to make sure for the next few weeks and months that I seek out those whom I consider angels and thank them for their influence and for the blessing they have been on my life. I am sorry that it took losing some others for me to wake up and decide to make a concentrated effort to show appreciation to some folks.

I got to see an angel this weekend that is NOT among us in Searcy anymore, but he IS among those who need him in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Terry Davis is impacting lives where EVER he is, I can promise you that! I can remember in the late 80's or early 90's when he was a student at HU and he would come over to Kensett where I was teaching at the time. Those kids saw a genuine Christ-like spirit and child-like enthusiasm in TD, and man alive, did they ever fall in love with him! I am sure they still do. Terry, God bless you in your ministry at Dallas Christian. We still miss you!

Open your eyes to the angels among you..........wherever you are. They are there! All some of you have to do is look in the mirror.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Highs and Lows

Wow, what a week! I had a wonderful trip to Kansas City and got to visit with a lot of wonderful friends there. KC is a really special place, and the folks at Overland Park church have really got things happening. I will blog on that at a future time.

The biggest news for us this week was the passing of a class-mate and friend. Barbara Wright Moore lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday evening. Her husband Mark works here in the Advancement office with the rest of this wonderful team. Jan and Barbara grew up together here in Searcy and attended the Academy together from start to finish. Barbara entered Harding in the fall of 74 with me and so many of you. She was talented in SO many areas......athletics, music, and drama to name a few. But she won't be remembered for those talents. Barbara will be remembered for what stood out about her the most.....her Christ-like spirit! You could never catch Barbara in a bad mood or at a time when she was not showing that beautiful smile. You couldn't help but to be encouraged and uplifted from having spent time with her! I loved Barbara very much, and will miss her greatly. She has left 3 wonderful kids to remind us of what a wonderful person she was.....and the blessing that she was to all of us. Our love and sympathy go out to Mark and the entire family during this sad time of grieving our loss. But I know this.......I am going to see Barbara again someday! She gained the Victory on Wednesday, and one day I will gain it also and go to be with our Lord and all the other believers like her that have gone first. I can't wait to see her!

I was also blessed to get to hear Don McLaughlin speak twice yesterday, and then spend some time with him. Don is another special person, and I count it a blessing anytime I can sit at his feet. The HU students really respond to him, and he impacts this place when he is here. If Don doesn't move you to want to be more Christ-like, your heart is dead or you are comatose.

Then today another "old" friend was on campus to speak. In chapel this morning, Lot Therrio got up and quoted....yes QUOTED the "Sermon on the Mount"! Lot was THE recognized leader on Harding's campus in the mid 70's. He knew EVERYBODY on campus by name, and more than that......he CARED about EVERYBODY. I can remember many nights in the dorm him coming by to just sit down to encourage us and mentor us.
He impacted me then, and I witnessed today that he is STILL impacting people where ever he is. Kinda like Light and Salt, huh?

Thanks Lot. Thanks Donnie. Thank you even more, Barbara. Thanks the most to our Father!