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Encourage: Uneasy patriotism
Jun30

Encourage: Uneasy patriotism

We celebrate this Independence Day with some uneasiness. Our hearts are unsettled by concern that our nation has somehow lost her way. Culturally, morally and spiritually, we are drifting like a ship without an anchor. We are not sure where we are heading, but ships that drift tend to sink. What if you were asked to list three sins that are pushing our nation off course? What character flaws, corrupt lifestyles or moral compromises...

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Encourage: Prayers answered at SBC
Jun14

Encourage: Prayers answered at SBC

In the weeks leading up to the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), I prayed for grace, peace and wisdom for our convention. The Lord answered this prayer. In this edition of the Baptist Messenger, you will see stories and highlights from our meeting, which I would encourage you to consider. There are three aspects of our meeting of Southern Baptists that I want to underscore. First is the issue of confronting...

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Encourage: Camp reflections and appreciations
Jun09

Encourage: Camp reflections and appreciations

In 1964, Mrs. J. M. Jones wrote J. M. Gaskin a letter recalling her experience as a camper during the first year of Falls Creek, 1917: “I will never forget that first assembly, for we blazed the way. We crossed the Washita River in a boat, then took a wagon drawn by two mules to the grounds. The wagon stalled on one high hill. We all got out, and Mr. Jones and Hot Dog Lee put their shoulders to the wheel to help get the wagon up the...

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Encourage: Four expectations of Jesus’ disciples
May19

Encourage: Four expectations of Jesus’ disciples

Sometimes people of God struggle with disappointment. Things don’t always turn out the way we expect. Could it be that our disappointment comes from unrealistic expectations more than unsatisfying experiences? I have been studying an exchange between Peter and Jesus. “Peter began to say to Him, ‘Behold, we have left everything and followed You.’ Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters...

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Encourage: ‘Slow & steady’ guidance
May05

Encourage: ‘Slow & steady’ guidance

May is the month of graduations. In 2014, I delivered the commencement address at Oklahoma Baptist University. I would like to share with you an abbreviated version of that address. Feel free to pass this along to a new graduate. ********* “Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for slow and steady won the race!” Do you recognize that line from an ancient text? It is the moral of a story about a turtle and a rabbit—better known as “The...

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