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Russia Postponed

I received the news last week that our Barnabas Touch mission trip to Russia is being postponed at the request of the Russian Baptist Union. We're now looking at the spring but the trip is still on. Honestly, it may work out better as far as the holidays are concerned and I still have my passport! Powered by ScribeFire. …

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The Network for Church Vitality

Bethel is a member of the Baptist Missionary Association of America, which is a wonderful group of churches who cooperate together to share the gospel around the world. I love the BMA and am personally quite loyal to her work. Nonetheless, as many leaders in the BMA recognize, we no longer look like a healthy association. The problem is not numbers, in and of themselves. Sure we're baptizing less, adding less members, and starting fewer churches, but that could result from a …

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Passport to Russia!

Everyone has warned me about applying for a passport - "don't wait too late - it takes 3 months or more..." Even the post office gave me this same information. But alas, it arrived in about 4 weeks! It's a God-thing. Receiving my passport just reminded me of the whole reason I applied for it to begin with... God has opened a door for me to accompany a few other men to Russia just after Thanksgiving. We're going to be speaking in a training conference, of sorts, for Russian …

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The Agony of Defeat

Oh, the agony of defeat! First, it happened Thursday evening in our softball match-up. We lost the first game to Bentonville Church of Christ by a decent margin, but we were pounded the second game 26—3. Ouch! I’m guessing about nine other guys are wishing I just wouldn’t have brought it up. Then, it happened again last night as the Razorbacks gave up a touchdown in the last couple of minutes of the game to lose to Alabama in a gut-wrenching defeat. I’m guessing a few …

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Pastoral Blessings

When everybody else goes to work on Mondays and Thursdays, I'm reviewing what happened the day or evening before at Bethel's services. I'm thinking about feedback I was offered (intentionally or otherwise), things I observed, lives I saw impacted, and news I heard. These past couple of weeks have been quite memorable in this regard. A couple of Sundays ago, we broke our standing Sunday School record with 152, we topped 200 in worship twice, and on opening night of Awana, we …

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As Much Fun As A Root Canal

Here's a bit of practical wisdom... take care of your teeth. Wednesdays are typically set aside for study time as I prepare for Wednesday nights and Sundays. Today, however, was set aside for a visit with the dentist. Almost a year ago, my #19 molar broke in half. The smart thing to do would have been to go to the Dentist immediately. I waited two weeks. He told me upon my visit that a root canal would be the best option, so what did I do? I waited almost a year. Three weeks …

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Weekend At the Airshow

Yesterday I went to the St. Louis Air Show to see the Blue Angels perform. It was totally wicked (in a good way)! Here are three great videos to enjoy. The first two are of the HV8 Harrier landing and taking off using its hovering abilities. The third is of the Blue Angels doing a fly-by with each one doing a roll simultaneously... The only problem with the Air Show was that, because of my sunglasses, I got a hilarious looking sunburn, and had to preach the next day at …

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This Life Matters

I'm not going to be preaching at Bethel today since I'm in St. Louis visiting my in-laws. My Father-in-law, however, did ask me to preach for him at Lindsay Lane Baptist Church in Florissant, Missouri. I'm going to be speaking from 1 Corinthians 3:10-17. The message was inspired by the second half of my Bible study lesson this past Wednesday night from Zephaniah. Let me share with you some of the principles I plan on teaching today at Lindsay Lane... 1. Our foundation …

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What Is Prayer?

Prayer is something that most people believe in. If you believe in some kind of higher power(s), you believe in some kind of prayer. If you believe that the triune God of Scripture is exclusively God, as I do, then you believe that biblical prayer is the only true kind of prayer. But that doesn't seem to settle the issue. What does the Bible say about prayer? It depends on whom you ask. Within evangelical Christianity in the last couple of centuries, there seem to have …

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The Discipline of Purity and the Growth of the Church

Yesterday, in our Tuesday morning Men's Bible Study, we tackled one of the toughest issues of life - the discipline of purity. We're currently studying through R. Kent Hughes' book The Disciplines of a Godly Man (I'd highly recommend it to all men, more on that in a future post). Allow me to allow Hughes to introduce the topic... “Sensuality is easily the biggest obstacle to godliness among men today and is wreaking havoc in the Church. Godliness and sensuality are mutually …

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