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Encourage: Acknowledging attendance
Aug19

Encourage: Acknowledging attendance

I took a leisurely stroll to the park recently. The pace was set by George, my two-year-old grandson, who held my finger when he was so inclined. It was the best hour I have spent in a long while. From time to time, something would catch George’s attention—a puddle, a pile of leaves, the cracks in the sidewalk, dirt of any sort. An army of ants captured his attention for a full five minutes (Impressive, for a two-year-old boy). The...

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Encourage: The poison of pride
Jul21

Encourage: The poison of pride

Last week I prepared to teach a group of pastors at the Oklahoma Baptist University’s Pastor’s School. In four hours of teaching, I unpacked 1 Peter 5:1-5. I consider this the most important New Testament teaching on the work of a pastor. That paragraph closes with a call to cultivate humility. “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Peter uses...

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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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