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Sword & trowel: Listen up
Feb21

Sword & trowel: Listen up

Do you remember phone booths? These rectangular boxes once were located everywhere, so people could place a phone call while in public, yet have a private (or semi-private) conversation. These days, phone booths are nowhere to be seen, and people will simply take a phone call anywhere and everywhere. This is perhaps symptomatic of a society that values talking more than listening (and maybe one that has forgotten manners, as well). It...

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BGCO board unanimously approves Ligon as new senior associate executive director
Feb11

BGCO board unanimously approves Ligon as new senior associate executive director

Joe Ligon was approved to serve as Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) senior associate executive director, with a unanimous vote by the BGCO board at the Baptist Building in Oklahoma City on Feb. 5. Ligon, who has served as pastor of Marlow, First since 1999, will begin his tenure with the BGCO in March 2019. Hance Dilbeck, BGCO executive director-treasurer, noted how he believes God has prepared Ligon for the role. “God...

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Sword & trowel: Life after New York and Virginia
Jan31

Sword & trowel: Life after New York and Virginia

On January 22, the New York legislature passed the Reproductive Health Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. To a casual observer that might not seem like earth-shattering news, yet a closer look reveals that this is one of the most outrageous and devastating developments in decades. On “the 46th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision, the New York legislature passed… (the) law that significantly expands abortion...

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Sword & trowel: Champions for life
Jan24

Sword & trowel: Champions for life

We live in a time that is hungry for heroes. Look no further than the popularity of comic book action heroes or to idolized professional sports stars to see that there is an impulse in people to have heroes. While the world often looks to the strongest, richest or most beautiful as exemplary heroes, the Christian faith honors the humble, the unheralded and those who stand up for the weak. Let me share about two heroes I admire....

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‘Sword & trowel’: New beginnings
Jan11

‘Sword & trowel’: New beginnings

Since 2011, I have had the privilege of writing editorials for the Baptist Messenger, which I have done under the headline “Conventional Thinking.” For 2019, in this era of new beginnings and a New Year, I am reintroducing my column as “Sword & trowel.” The phrase, which is a reference to the Book of Nehemiah, was used by the late, great preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, whose publication that was founded in the 1860s still bears...

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