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Rite of passage: Retracing the past
Jul10

Rite of passage: Retracing the past

Twenty-five years ago, I was working with the European Baptist Convention to assist with their youth camp in Grindelwald, Switzerland. Students gathered from all over Europe to attend this camp. One year, we had a few Hungarian students attending; they had spent their lives growing up under the communist regime. The Berlin Wall had fallen, and Communism was quickly losing its grip on their country. The last Russian troops had left,...

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Rite of passage: ‘Where you at?’
Jun26

Rite of passage: ‘Where you at?’

Greeting from Budapest! As you read this, I am serving in Hungary. I am glad so many of you are following along with me. I miss my wife, my boys and their wives, but most of all, I miss those two little boys who call me Poppy. When I started leading mission teams 45 years ago, we didn’t have cell phones, computers or even internet. If I wanted to connect with my family while overseas, I had to go find a big box with a little box...

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Rite of passage: Shall We Dance?
Jun19

Rite of passage: Shall We Dance?

Baptists are funny people. We are known for loving Jesus and the Bible as much as we hate sin. And we are passionate about reaching others with the Good News. But we are also odd ducks; we have the hardest time agreeing on what constitutes a sin. You might not know this, but you can get a fire going by rubbing two Baptists together. This sin issue was brought to my attention again this week. I grew up in a Baptist church that taught...

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Rite of passage: Exit strategy
Jun12

Rite of passage: Exit strategy

Today, I am not writing to you; I am writing to myself. If you want, you can read along. I don’t usually write to myself, but maybe I need to do it more often. I don’t know why I am sharing this. Maybe one of you is in the same place I am and will find comfort in having met another struggler. In a few weeks, I will hand over the reins of the ministry I started 25 years ago. I decided to exit on Aug. 9, 2018, five years to the day I...

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Rite of passage: ‘What?!’
Jun05

Rite of passage: ‘What?!’

I heard a story the other day that left me scratching my head. Anybody who has flown a lot will have a story or two about going through airport security. When I started taking groups internationally, security was much more relaxed. You and your family, including your crazy Uncle Charlie who carries his pet rooster everywhere, were allowed to go back to your departure gate. When you returned, the same crowd that saw you off was usually...

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