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Don’t Blame the Church

It's apparent that there is a great departure from the church among twentysomethings. Recent studies have proven this statistically, but as a Pastor, I've watched it happen during my twelve years in ministry. It may be somewhat natural for young people becoming adults to experiment with living life their own way, including making choices about whether to continue the family tradition of church attendance or not. What is most alarming, however, is that about one in four do not …

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Angie’s Surgery

Angie was scheduled for surgery in Tulsa at 9:30 a.m. today. I set the alarm for 4:30 a.m. so that I could study and work a bit before making the two hour drive. The alarm failed and I awakened at 6:17, giving us exactly enough time to get ready and get out the door. All the way to Tulsa, I reflected on how good God was to be faithful to us in such a small detail. Angie's surgery went well - the doctor accomplished his goal of fixing some problems left behind from two …

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A Decent Joke

I rarely pass along jokes sent by email, but I really thought this one was pretty good... BUBBA AT A REVIVAL Bubba goes to the revival and listens to the preacher. After a while, the preacher asks anyone with needs to come forward and be prayed over. Bubba gets in line. When it's his turn the preacher says, " Bubba, what you want me to pray about?" Bubba says, "Preacher, I need you to pray for my hearing." So the preacher puts one finger in Bubba's ear and the other hand …

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The Greatest of These is Love

Saturday night, I had a wonderful opportunity to perform my first-ever vow renewal service for one of our Deacons and his wife. It was their fortieth anniversary and they celebrated with about a hundred friends or so in a beautiful setting. While speaking about the virtues of a godly marriage, the passage from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians about love brought me to my knees (at least in my heart that is). I suddenly realized that I've had a tendency at times to …

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Kumbaya, My Lord!

What does that mean, anyway? Actually, it means "come by here." We didn't sing Kumbaya at camp this week, but God definitely showed up! This was my first experience with church camp... ever! I'd been to Conservation Camp in elementary school and hated every minute of it. This week was vastly different. For one thing, thirty-six people got saved! As I reflect on camp, let me just share the highlights... The quiet mornings by the lake while the kids slept were great. Waking up …

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New Clothes

"I will rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." -Isaiah 61:10Angie and I drove from our home in Beebe, Arkansas to the campus of Central Baptist College in Conway for classes. I was on a diet at the time and had a chocolate diet shake in the car. Just as we …

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The Certainty of Mysteries

I was deeply moved by today's reading from J. Sidlow Baxter's devotional, Awake My Heart. He speaks of the mysteries of life, what W. A. Criswell used to call "the imponderables of God." Baxter mentioned birth, life, personality, human experience, Satan, eternity, etc. All of these are unexplainable. We can begin, but we can never conclude any definition of them. Baxter goes on, however, to quote an unnamed old Puritan as saying, "Never let what you don't know disturb your …

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The Association of Baptist Students

Cory and I had a nice treat today in visiting with the directors of the Association of Baptist Students at the University of Arkansas. After touring the property, I was impressed with their ability to squeeze so much out of so little. Rather than a state-of-the-art facility, they were "making do" with three older houses, all in need of some repairs. I appreciated so much hearing the hearts of Director Warren Dugas and Associate Director Brad Harris. Is collegiate ministry …

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The Rush of Summer

Isn't summer supposed to be our vacation from the busyness of life? This summer, for the Cox family, is flying right by in a whirlwind of activity. We've traveled to see family in three different states (Missouri and Georgia for Angie, Kentucky for me). We're getting ready to spend a week at church camp. And then, it will be time for Angie to return to work, for me to get busy with a new church year, and for Ella to begin Kindergarten. In the midst of being busy in these …

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Ending the Creation-Evolution Debate

In our midweek Bible study last night, we went through a supplementary study on creation and evolution. There were many things I wished I'd had time to cover in the Sunday messages but simply couldn't. In preparing, I studied areas of science that fascinate me. I wanted to have some basic knowledge on everything from the fossil record to quantum physics (like I said, fascinating!). I was so blessed by the exchange. People asked questions, gave their thoughts, and generally …

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