Sorry for no DHD last week. Baptistmessenger.com had some maintenance issues, but thankfully, we are up and rolling this week!
I wanted to point out six people who encouraged me in the last week or so. “Or so” could mean well beyond a week, but one person or more may have encouraged me perhaps on a consistent basis, and I’m using this opportunity to share my appreciation.
Enough of my confusing introduction. Let’s get to it.
1. Karen’s new friend Lisa
My wife Karen went to Orlando last week for a conference. There were meetings and some time spent at Sea World. She had an enjoyable time.
This also allowed her to get to know a new friend named Lisa. They were roommates at the conference and flew back to OKC together. While on the flight home, Karen and Lisa also made a new friend named Paige, who just moved to OKC after living in Philadelphia, Pa.
Both Karen and Lisa were so generous to offer my transportation abilities to Paige, so she would not have to spend money on an Uber. So as I was arriving to pick up Karen and Lisa at Will Rogers World Airport, Karen informed me, “Hey, we’re going to drop Paige off at her new place. Do you have room in your trunk for all the luggage?”
Keep in mind, Paige had all her worldly belongings in two huge suitcases. It took some maneuvering, but we got Paige’s bags, Lisa’s bag and Karen’s bag all in my Honda. We were in one Accord (sorry, I couldn’t help it!).
What encouraged me about Lisa is how she openly demonstrated her faith in a generous way to Paige. This was my first time to meet Lisa, but she motivated and challenged me to do the same when I encounter people, whether on a plane ride, in a restaurant or anywhere in public.
Being from Philadelphia, Pa., there is no telling what Paige thought of us Okies, but I hope she took from us how important we made faith in Jesus Christ be a part of our interactions (Paige did say she is also a Christian). When we dropped Paige off, Lisa asked me if I would lead a prayer time with all of us, including Paige and her fiancé, and I was happy she asked me.
Though I knew this already, if I could encourage you in the same way Lisa encouraged me, it’s never the wrong time to stop and pray with somebody.
2. Todd Fisher
There was some big news in the Oklahoma Baptists world this week. Todd Fisher was elected to be the next executive director-treasurer.
Currently serving as pastor of Shawnee, Immanuel and fulfilling his role as Oklahoma Baptists president, Fisher will officially take his new role in January 2022.
Fisher encourages me because of his demeanor and how he accepted the new position with an attitude of being a servant-leader. I also appreciate the countenance of his wife, Jamy, through the whole process. She is known among Oklahoma Baptists women as a great Bible study leader, and being around her for the first time this week, I can tell that Jamy demonstrates true joy that is contagious.
Also, through another source, I was told Todd Fisher’s mom is an avid reader of the Baptist Messenger. That’s definitely encouraging news.
3. Joe Ligon
While it’s only been four months, it’s also been four months (note: time is relative) since Oklahoma Baptists formally had an official leader. And that four months included probably the busiest time of the year for Oklahoma Baptists. The summer months feature the youth weeks at Falls Creek, which is an annual major occurrence, and it’s the time when Oklahoma Baptists may have the most noticeable impact toward advancing the Gospel.
Joe Ligon is serving as the interim executive director-treasurer, and nobody could be handling the role any better. In January, Ligon will go back to his formal title of senior associate executive director.
Ligon’s leadership approach is perfect for this moment. He knows what is important, but he also knows how to say something in a way that can put people at ease.
Most of all, this transition between executive leaders could not be any smoother, and Ligon’s leadership is the main reason for it being easy.
4. Walker Moore
Walker Moore encouraged me this week by turning 70. The longtime Messenger columnist routinely offers an encouraging word, but I’m encouraged by his joy and outlook on life and how he makes Jesus ministry appear to be a fun adventure.
I get to read his columns regularly (a perk for the job as managing editor), but I must say, Walker truly blessed my socks off when I read his column “Street music.” He always has a flavor of humor in his writings, but this one offers some great word pictures. If you’ve ever heard musicians performing publicly, especially the ones in Europe, you should have an appreciation of what Walker wrote in this article.
5. Will Anderson
I’ve never met Will Anderson, and I don’t know if I’ve ever read more than one of his articles.
However, I truly appreciate his article “Confront hypocrites, but don’t cancel them.”
This is a needed piece for Christians today. Yes, there are Christian leaders who have failed, but Anderson encouraged me to look at Matthew 23 and the appropriate way to respond to those who demonstrate pharisaic behavior.
“Godly anger involves restraint, trusting Him for justice,” Anderson wrote. “Such restraint contradicts cancel culture. Like all emotions, we submit our anger to God, taking responsible action to defend victims and dethrone manipulators, but in a way that’s righteous, not reckless.”
Anderson said he annually reads Matthew 23, and he has encouraged me to consider doing the same.
Yes, you’re reading this correctly. You encouraged me this week—just by reading my weekly penning.
Whether this is your first time or you have read my DHDs over the past seven-plus years, you encourage me to keep doing this.
Who encouraged you this week?