This Week in Waco

I love this time of year. Meredith's flowers are blooming and the fish are biting. Signs of life abound. I'll plant vegetables on Good Friday just like may grandfather did. Holy Week, for me, is the height of Spring. It conjures all the Gospel's sound and fury. It brings people together. Here are some of the thing's we'll do in Waco this week.

Tonight - We will have a free supper in the Fellowship Hall beginning at 5:00 and then celebrate with children beginning at 6:00.  Our neighbor's at The Silo's are planning an event for locals and we are providing parking as a gift to our community. Downtown Waco should be bustling.

Friday - We have a Good Friday Song and Communion Service in the Sanctuary at 6:00

Saturday - We have an Easter event at the Delta Inn Motel beginning at 11:00

Sunday - Well this is the big one. Ring your bells children of God. Join us for Sunday School and Church.

Revival Services in Muscles Shoals, Alabama

I'll be in Muscle Shoals, Alabama this week preaching Revival Services at Woodward Avenue Baptist Church.  All the services will be broadcast live, so if you would like to tune in, go to

Looking Forward

Tonight at FBC Waco we will explore 2 Corinthians 7:1 and  hear again the biblical invitation to pursue holiness. We join with Christians around the globe in a season of fasting that focuses our attention on the cross of Christ and our own humanity.
We have two resources at that you may find helpful over the next 40 days.  We have a 2017 Lenten Devotional Guide from Baylor's Truett Seminary. Many of our fellow church members have contributed devotionals  to this useful guide. We also have the message series - Flourish. These eight messages call us to personal transformation. Share these with your friends.
Please pray for those serving on ministry trips during the upcoming Spring break vacation. Our college ministry will be in Shaw. MS serving with Delta Hands for Hope. I will be with the Loachamins in Puyo Ecuador ministering at Esperanza Eterna Church this Sunday and at Woodward Avenue Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals, Alabama next Sunday. Pray that God blesses these gatherings.
We  welcome to the pulpit Aaron and Grace Ogburn this week and will be blessed by the legendary Levi Price next Sunday. I am happy to be preaching in other contexts but I'm jealous about missing out on hearing these church members and friends. 
We are rolling into Spring. Pray that the Holy Spirit turns this season into a season of refreshing for all of us. Have a great week.


Rinse Your Wishes

"Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control" (Proverbs 25:28).

The grace of self-control is a needed virtue in all our lives. We tend to think of self-control as it relates to bodily desire. This is certainly a part of it but we need to be aware that the call to self-control extends to our thoughts, emotions and speech.

I recently learned a spiritual practice that grows the virtue of self-control while reading Alexander Maclaren's exposition of Psalm 86. He instructs us to rinse our wishes:

"...let us learn to make all wishes and annoyances material for prayer. Wishes that are not turned into prayers irritate, disturb, unsettle, Wishes that are turned into prayers are calmed and made blessed. Stanley and his men lived for weeks upon a poisonous root which if eaten crude, brought all manner of diseases, but steeped in running water, had all the acrid juices washed out of it, and became wholesome food. If you steep your wishes in the stream of prayer the poison will pass out of them. Some of them will be suppressed, all of them will be hallowed, and all of them will be calmed. Troubles, great or small, should be turned into prayers."

Life does not have to be eaten crude. We can rinse our anxieties and troubles in grace. This is a hopeful spiritual practice that can help us grow in self-control. This will be our teaching focus at FBC Waco tonight and Sunday. We hope to see you at 5th and Webster.



Pastor George Zamora of the Buffalo River Indian Baptist Church is a good story teller. He traffics in Native American tales and biblical narratives.  We had lunch at the Lone Star Tavern this week and got caught up on life. I asked George about how he felt about his journey into ministry. He looked up from his beef tips and rice and said: There was a man that wanted to serve God. God said, "Go out and push that boulder." The man did. Day after day he pushed from sun up until sun down. He eventually grew weary. He asked God, "What am I doing? I want to serve you and I haven't moved this boulder very far. Help me understand. God replied, "Look at your arms. When you began they were sticks. Do see that muscle?  Look at your legs and back. You are strong. Now, you are strong.

When George finished his story he said, "That is how I feel about being a pastor." The fruit of faithfulness grows slowly and it is easy to become tired. George's story has a superficial resemblance to the story of Sisyphus. That doomed Corinthian keeps rolling his boulder in Tartarus. What nasty business.  Faithfulness, however,  is not hellish for the Christian because of God's presence, purpose and promises. George reminded me. He encouraged me not to grow wear in well doing. He flourishes in faithfulness. We can to.

Check out last Sunday's FBC Waco podcast for a message on faithfulness. This Sunday we hear Colossians 3:14 and think about love.

And about all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Backwards and Forwards 2 - 3 - 17

Jack Taylor said, "Goodness is doing what you can in the Spirit's dynamic." Goodness is a marriage of God's presence in our lives and a willingness to work for the benefit of others. Last Sunday we looked at three factors in the production of goodness from Galatians 6:6-10. Be sure to check out the podcast if you missed the message.

Wednesday night we continued to study goodness by looking at Barnabas. Luke described him as a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith (Acts 11:24). Barnabas provides a host of leadership values and skills that define Spirit-filled faithful service. Here is a sampling from Acts and Galatians:

  • Trustworthy
  • Celebrates God's work
  • Encourager
  • Seeks to bond men and women to God
  • Connector
  • Generous
  • Risk Taker
  • Well differentiated self
  • Failure overcomer
  • Good communicator

This Sunday morning we turn our attention to faithfulness.

"When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion" Acts 11:23 (NRSV).

Have a great weekend! We'll see you Sunday.

Backwards and Forwards 1-27-17

Patience and kindness are in short supply today. We explored these Christ honoring virtues last Sunday at FBC Waco. As an added plus I got to put a Rambo knife on B.H. Carroll's pulpit. Rumor has it he used to keep a pistol there.

We dug in further Wednesday night by studying 1 Samuel 25:1-32. In this  fantastic story David in convinced not to be quick to  wrath through the wise advice of Abigail. Here are some takeaway principles that come in handy when faced with an opportunity to settle a score:

1. Don't let a fool make you foolish. v.25
2. Remember whose and who you are. v.29
3. Consider the consequences. v. 31

This Sunday we turn our attention to the virtue goodness. The focal text will be Galatians 6:7-10. Read up and show up Sunday at 5th and Webster.
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