Discovering Jesus

Christmas Eve is almost here. I'm ready to light the Christ candle and celebrate Jesus. Advent was great. I'm ready.

Randall Perry will preach a message on the Magi December 26th. Don't miss this chance to celebrate the men that sought Jesus and found him. They inspire me in my life of faith. I'll be preaching a series on Colossians during the month of January. We will rediscover Christ together. Get a good start on the journey by reading the epistle. Have a great holiday!!!

Rev. Miss. Moon the Heavenly Book Visitor

I've had a little fun with the Episcopal Church's treatment of Lottie Moon. They have given December 22 as a day to honor a woman Baptists in the South have called a Saint for years. She really was quite something and worthy of a Google search.

Here are the bible readings for Lottie Moon Day
Psalm 148:1-6
Ruth 1:15-19a
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
John 1:29-33

Prayer (contemporary language)

O God, in Christ Jesus you have brought Good News to those who are far off and to those who are near: We praise you for awakening in your servant Lottie Moon a zeal for your mission and for her faithful witness among the peoples of China. Stir up in us the same desire for your work throughout the world, and give us the grace and means to accomplish it; through the same Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Well done Episcopal friends. Thanks!

The Carpenter's Son

The home town crowd once asked, "Isn't that the carpenter's son?" I affirm all the miracles in the gospels but my answer to that question is yes. God selected Joseph just like he selected Mary. Joseph was a wonderful man of faith and lived an exemplary life. He was: righteous, kind, responsible, and courageous.  If you are in Central Texas this Sunday I'd love for you to join us at FBC Waco as we explore the life of this remarkable man.

Read Matthew 1:18-25

Have a great weekend!

Save The Date: Seminarian Preaching Series @ FBC Waco

First Baptist Church of Waco has a long history of encouraging young men and women who are preparing for ministry. During the early 1870s Pastor B.H. Carroll began to offer instruction to ministerial students. He did this for over 30 years. His class evolved into a Bible and Theological department at Baylor and eventually into Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. One of his students was a young man named George W. Truett.

When George W. Truett Theological Seminary was chartered First Baptist Church Waco offered to house the seminary for the first years of its operation. Classes began at FBC on September 1, 1994. This continued until the seminary dedicated the Baugh-Reynolds Campus in 2002. The “Preaching” window in the new seminary chapel depicts the pulpit at FBC Waco. FBC Waco and George W. Truett Theological Seminary are old friends and partners in ministry. We want to strengthen our relationship.

FBC Waco is creating preaching opportunities for students at Truett. An initial series begins January 16. There is a clear need for a ministry like this and your presence will insure continued and expanded opportunities. Please pray for this ministry and join us as we worship together. The preachers for the first Seminarian Preaching Series are:

Blakely Winslow

Kyndall Renfro

Jonathan Perry

Mary Alice Birdwhistell

Jamie McCallum

Chris Canary

My Stack of Books

A friend and congregant  recently asked me, "What are you reading now?" I have a few books in the stack and I hope to finish them sometime soon. Here's my list. What are you reading?
  1.  Christian Doctrine - Walter Thomas Conner (1937)
  2. Goodbye to a River - John Graves (1959)
  3.  God's Order - John A. Mackay (1953)
  4. The Orchard Keeper - Cormac McCarthy (1965)
  5. Home  - Marilynn Robinson (2008)
  6. Under the Unpredictable Plant - Eugene H. Peterson (1992)
  7. The Expositor's Bible Commentary on Colossians - Todd Still (2006)

Roger Olson talking theology on Assemblies of God TV


We don't really know how to handle Jesus' momma. Some traditions exalt her beyond normal humanity. I think this reduces her in a strange kind of way. My own tradition, being a little reactionary, often presents her as little more than a borrowed womb. This makes her one more Evangelical "just". The Supper is "just" a memorial meal, etc. Mary has been wrapped in neon and pasted on construction paper. What do we do with her?

We follow her example.

Mary was a holy young woman. She loved God and had grit. We are going to talk about her this Sunday morning. Our focus will be her song of praise recorded in Luke 1:46-55. We are also going to climb a few steps on Benedict of Nursia's ladder of humility. Like Mary - we can grow in God exalting humility by:

  1. Revering God
  2. Doing God's Will
  3. Submitting to One Another
  4. Enduring Affliction
Have a great weekend. I hope to see you on Sunday!

Heaven is weird.

"Heaven is weird." Willimon and Hauerwas

This is the strangest church steeple I've ever seen. It's at a Presbyterian church in Port Gibson, Mississippi. Look closely and you will see a gilded finger pointing into the sky. The point - God is different.  I will talk about the phrases, "In heaven" and "Hallowed be your name" tonight during our midweek prayer gathering. Here's a little preview.

"In heaven" is more spiritual than spatial. "Heavenly Father" speaks of God's personal relationship with us and his "otherness." When we approach God we must remember that he is, well, different. God is independent of us and far greater. God has desires. God acts. God is patient but he's not obligated to wait. God is merciful.  Here is some wise guidance for relating to our heavenly Father - "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God; to draw near to listen is better than the sacrifice offered by fools; for they do not know how to keep from doing evil.  Never be rash with your mouth, not let your heart be quick to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few" Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 (NRSV).

"All creation is meant to hallow the name of God. We must learn the melody of adoration." Willimon and Hauerwas

When we hallow the name of God we slow down to worship. We put God in his place and find our true location as well. We worship because God likes it. He takes pleasure in us. Worship glorifies God and is a means of our sanctification. In hallowing the name of God we also appeal to his reputation. Moses did this. Joshua did it. We also affirm our commitment to observing the command not to take the name of Lord in vain.

Jesus' model prayer should impact our prayers in the deepest way. These two little phrases say so much. May we have the grace to apply them in our days.
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