She that was a princess...

Waco is filled with some wonderful theologians and only a handful of them cash checks from Baylor and Truett. The rest mostly go on living their vital faith without notice. I just hung up the phone after a wonderful conversation with one of these gonzo theologians.

She asked that I not use her name in a sermon or in print so I won't. She is letting my tell you a little about her. My theological lesson today came from a 93 year old woman. She moved to Waco in 1934 to attend Baylor University.  She was happily married for over sixty years. She was separated from her love for three years during WWII. He died a few years ago and that pierced her heart. She is also dealing with illness and the challenge of aging. She shared her favorite scripture with me - Lamentations 2:22-24. When I asked her about it she said, "I know that the mercies of God are new every morning - great is his faithfulness." She has walked with God for almost a century. She has seen great sorrow and joy.  She knows God. We can learn from her confession.

This Sunday we will explore the book of Lamentations, giving special emphasis to 3:19-24. Please read the book over the weekend and join us for worship. We hope to have the message available online next week so check back in. Have a great weekend!

Will the Lord be pleased...

I went to a pastor's conference in Jackson, Mississippi a few years ago and experienced a really weird sacrament. The preacher closed his message with an invitation to come to the altar and receive a smiley face sticker. We were grown-ups and ministers of the gospel. What did we do? We ambled down like sheep to get our sticky trinket. The funny thing is the goofy little act stuck with me. I've still got the grinning little dot in the front of my bible. What was the point?

He wanted all of us give ourselves to living for the pleasure of God. There are many ways to live but the wised and most vibrant way to live is for the pleasure and glory of God. This is what the prophet Micah was after in the 8th century.

This Sunday morning I will explore Micah's answer to the question, "Will the Lord be pleased?" If you are in Central Texas then we'd love for you to join us at FBC Waco for our 10:30 worship experience.  FBC family - please prepare your hearts by reading to book of Micah. Have a great weekend y'all!


   Home is a powerful word. It summons deep emotion. I don't know a single person that is moderate about it. That's power. Jesus talked about spiritual home in John 14. God is our dwelling place and we are the dwelling place of God. He promised not the leave us orphaned.

The gifts of home are guidance, peace, and courage. I need all three and so do you. Please read John 14 and join us for worship at FBC Waco this Sunday @ 10:30. I'm praying that many people will come home. Have a great weekend y'all!

Saved by Hope

I was a cradle roll Baptist. I was a Sunday School kid. I grew up having  really wonderful people tell me that Jesus loved me and I believed them. They also taught me about sin and salvation. My childhood teachers taught me that salvation had past, present, and future dimensions. They used words like regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.  I remember hearing these repeated for years. I'm pretty sure that they were influenced by the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message.  I still have a copy my dad got in 1971.

The '63 BF&M still serves FBC Waco as a helpful guide.  It's ours. When I look out over the congregation Sunday I will see Aaron Ogburn. His dad Tom sits at Hershel Hobbs desk at FBC Oklahoma City. I'll see Dr. Ruth Pitts.  Her father, James H. Landes, served on the committee. Curt Kruschwitz' grandfather, V.C. Kruschwitz, also helped craft the document. These folks worked and their words trickled down to children like me.

 I'll preach from Romans 8 this Sunday morning. This magnificent passage of scripture explores the riches of salvation. It calls us to embrace the past, present, and future aspects of it. Read Romans 8 before Sunday and revisit the '63 statement on salvation. Both will give you plenty of reason to celebrate God's goodness. Have a good weekend.


I’m sitting in my office at First Baptist Waco reading an old collection of revival sermons. They were preached by B.H. Carroll. I found the book when I unpacked an ugly stack of boxes last week. When I looked at the cover I realized that Carroll had once served this congregation. He paved the way. I decided that I would revisit the old pastor’s messages and pray for revival in our generation.

Carroll once called the church to bring men and women to Jesus and stop. Our job is to invite and introduce. We must trust God to do his great work of redemption. Here’s an example of his thought –

“If you have been found of Jesus, then your chief mission is to be a finder for Jesus, and your chief argument in bringing people to Jesus is the fact that you have found Jesus yourself, that is, your Christian experience; and as a remedy against any objection in the way of preconceived opinion on the part of the one you are trying to lead to Jesus, you are to use no argument, no scolding, but simply, ‘Come and see.’”

We must nurture a church culture that values four simple actions. We must invest in our friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and the stranger in our midst. We must invite them to join us in worship. We must include them in the life our community. We must introduce them to the Jesus that searched and found us.

We have a story of hope to share. Let’s share it together. I believe that there are great days of ministry in our future. Thank you for calling me to serve as your pastor.

Mission Venture

I promised my friends Ward and Kristen that I would run in a 5k this year. I try to keep my word so I've been pounding the pavement early in the mornings. You may now call me Thunder. My route takes me through a quiet park and neighborhood.  I pass the Westwood Baptist Church every day.  I stopped this  morning to read the church sign.  It gives a brief history of the congregation's long history.  You can read the lead paragraph in the photo. I was struck by the fact that faculty and students worked together to do something for the glory of God. It made me think of the great Baylor faculty and students we have at FBC Waco.  It made me think of the rest of us. We don't just share pews one day a week. We share in a mission venture! The Westwood Church still has a ministy in this world. The day we moved in a teenage member of the congregation invited my family to worship. The efforts of faculty and students so many years ago touched my family the day of our arrival in the community. Faithful ministry is enduring. We may not see all that God wants to do through our acts of  service but we can rest in the hope that he is working. Don't go to church. Take part in the venture!

Glad Generations

I will be preaching a message from Psalm 100 this Sunday morning.  My friend Leigh Moseman shared that Psalm 100 was one of her favorite passages of scripture. She said this about it, "I say Psalm 100 every morning when I get out of bed. It is my prayer to 'make a joyful noise unto the Lord' and to 'serve Him with gladness.' I want to live a life of thanksgiving, of praise, and a life that is glorifying to God." Don't you just love that. I want that for me, my family, and FBC Waco!

Psalm 100 commands us to live a life of adoration. It also gives us reasons for this kind of lifestyle. The Psalm calls us to recall the simple truths of our childhood table blessing - God is great. God is good. We find our gladness and strength from these rock solid realities. Psalm 100 asserts that God's faithfulness and stubborn love is for all generations. That gives us plenty to be glad about and Godly gladness is our strength.

Read Psalm 100 a few times before Sunday and then join us for worship at FBC Waco - 10:30. I'm praying that God will put his gladness in our hearts (see Psalm 4). See y'all there
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