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Thanks for visiting our website! Picture of the Month: sharing the word in Pilanqui, Ibarra, Ecuador; a view of part of the crowd, two baptisms. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Preaching in Pilanqui

Ministry is always a team effort--Jan and I have shared the work of ministry and missions for 48+ years! Countless others have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. My favorite breakfast is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of quality coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to serve and share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature in Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!

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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Stars to Steer By: Fourth of July Quotes

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Today I share some favorite quotes that come to my mind this Fourth of July.

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.
— Samuel Adams

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
–Edmund Burke, 18th century political philosopher

He that is not for me is against me.
–Jesus

When little men cast long shadows, it is almost sundown.
–Author unknown
[Various versions of the quote are attributed to (1) Lin Yutang, Chinese poet, novelist, historian and philosopher; (2) an Irish proverb, (3) Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur, and (4) Walter Savage Landor, British essayist]

Today the U.S. celebrates Independence Day, marking the 236th “birthday” of the nation. On the day when liberty is celebrated, it is good to remember that “Freedom Isn’t Free”. The song says, “You have to sacrifice, you have to pay the price.”
Liberty is not license, unbounded and unrestricted living without regard for others.
Evil is not neutral. To stop resisting evil is to see it continue to grow and spread. One must take sides–no place for Mugwumps or fence-straddlers. Complacency and inaction are not options.

Memorial Day

Monday, May 28th, 2012

I remember a time when Memorial Day was Memorial Day. On Memorial Day, even though school was already out for the summer, the high school marching band marched one more time in a procession that ended at the cemetery. Memorial Day was a day for remembering. Today Memorial Day seems more about the first long weekend of summer than a day for remembering. We are rapidly losing an important part of our culture. Not only do our actions betray us, our speech betrays us. Many people do not know what Memorial Day is.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day because it was a time set aside to honor the nation’s Civil War dead by decorating their graves. It was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers. On May 5, 1868, Logan declared in General Order No. 11 that:
The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

Today Memorial Day is a day of observances to honor those who have died in all of the nation’s wars. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May. Previously, the date of Memorial Day celebrations varied from state to state. Memorial Day has also come to be a time for remembering and decorating the graves of family members.

Memorial Day is not Veteran’s Day. Veteran’s Day is set aside to honor all veterans, living and dead, who served with the U.S. armed forces in wartime. It is celebrated each year on November 11.

Memorial Day is not “Armed Forces Day.” The purpose of Armed Forces day is to honor Americans serving in any of the five branches of the armed forces–the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. Armed Forces Week begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May. Because of their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day and Armed Forces Week over any period in May.

I hope you have a pleasant and enjoyable Memorial Day. Time with family and friends is precious, and provides opportunities to remember and celebrate our shared lives. A part of our shared lives is the freedom we enjoy in our nation. I hope that your Memorial Day includes a time for remembering those who have given their lives in order that we might enjoy that freedom.

Memorial Day

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Refresh and renew, but….sometime during the day,
Remember and Reflect!

Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 27th, 2011

For many, the Memorial Day Weekend has already begun. Some will spend most or all of the weekend in fun and frolic (first weekend of summer) with little thought to the meaning of Memorial Day, and little thought given to the sacrifices made so that we can be the free nation we are today.
Originally observed to honor the Civil War dead, and eventually expanded as a day of remembrance for any of those who have gone before us, Congress declared Decoration Day or Memorial Day a national holiday in 1971. Thus, this year marks the 40th year of the national celebration to honor all of those who have died in our nation’s wars, and the tradition of remembering family members who have deceased continues as well.

At the least, I hope your Memorial Day weekend includes some time for being with family. I encourage you to take a moment to remember and honor those who have served our nation in conflict and battle, giving their lives for our nation’s values and freedom.

May God bless you, and may God guide and bless our nation as we seek his will and way.

40 Days of Gratitude: My List

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

November
21–Salvation
22–God’s revelation—special and natural
23–The beauty of nature, God’s natural revelation
24–Relationship with God
25–The church
26–My heritage of faith and questioning
27–My family
28–Family—my wife
29–Family—my boys
30–Family—my mother
December
1–Family—my sister
2–Friends [general]
3–Ministry friends
4–Leadership friends
5–Missions friends
6–Students I have taught through the years
7–My coworkers across the years
8–Influences in my life
9–Education, knowledge, learning
10–Teachers
11–Christian college and universities
12–Churches—my spiritual family
13–My early churches—St. John, Delrose, Okeene
14–My ministry churches—Dierks, 15th Street, Plymouth, Lansing, Ft Gibson, Main and Oklahoma
15–Supporting churches
16–Domestic mission churches
17–Foreign mission churches
18–Ministers and Ministries
19–Missionaries and Missions
20–My purpose
21–My mind/creativity/wisdom/knowledge
22–My stuff
23–My skills
24–My body—the ability to move
25–My heart–emotions
26–My ministry
27–Opportunities to work
28–Opportunities/ability to bless others and to bring joy to others
29–Memories
30–Hope/the future

The 41st day, the last day of 2010, I am calling a day of gratitude. I will be grateful for THE YEAR PAST AND THE YEAR COMING.

It’s Sunday Again: 40 Days of Gratitude

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Thanksgiving Sunday. Is it today or next Sunday? Next Sunday is part of the traditional Thanksgiving weekend. But during 40+ years of preaching ministry, I generally preached my Thanksgiving sermon the Sunday before Thanksgiving. By the Sunday after, most people have forgotten the holiday just past in favor of the holiday coming in less than a month. People are stuffed, satisfied, and shifted to the Christmas season. I hear and read fewer and fewer Thanksgiving sermons. Perhaps the Thanksgiving sermon is in danger of going the way of all flesh.

I find that fewer and fewer in our pews appreciate the purity and simplicity of the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving is my favorite secular holiday. I like this time of year; I like the colors; I like the harvest and the finality of another year of gardening. Most of all, I like the religious foundations of the holiday. But Thanksgiving has changed during my lifetime. Although it is a time for family and friends, it seems less a day for giving thanks than in times past. Many of us eat well every day, and overstuff ourselves on Thanksgiving. For some, Thanksgiving is parades and football. For others, Thanksgiving is all about hunting season. Yet others use Thanksgiving as a day to get ready for the next day’s mad rush of shopping.

One can bemoan the cultural and societal changes surrounding Thanksgiving, but the better option is to recommit to a continuous attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is not a once-per-year matter. Gratitude is a way of seeing life. Gratitude is humility. Gratitude recognizes grace. Gratitude honors unconditional love which bestows blessings without regard to merit. We are not blessed because of who we are. Gratitude is the opposite of pride.

Today I am beginning 40 days of gratitude! Every day until the end of 2010. “Father, help me develop the gratitude habit.” I challenge you to make a list today or 40 things you are thankful for, and focus on one of them for each of the next 40 days.

(Tomorrow, I will share my list.)

Father’s Day: Four Principles

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Several months ago I received an email with the following information. I have edited it slightly and focused it for Father’s Day.

In May 2009, Brad McCoy, Colt McCoy’s dad, spoke at the Tuesday morning Dallas Christian Leadership Prayer Breakfast. The breakfast is an annual breakfast started by Tom Landry and other Dallas leaders over 40 years ago. Brad McCoy delivered a message about raising Colt and his other two sons. He said he and his wife raised their children according to four principles.

“Prepare your child for the path, not the path for your child.” The road is rough, narrow and often hard to find. We have a guidebook (the Bible), a map, and our God to help us. We must prepare ourselves and our kids for moments in life when doors open and close. Dads who are serious about fighting for their kids diligently prepare them.

“Prepare to be your best.” This was a McCoy family motto. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Cor. 9:24). Brad would take his kids to school and as they exited the car, he would say to them, “Do your best and be a leader!” Citing Jim Collins’s book, Good to Great, McCoy reminded that good is the enemy of greatness. We don’t aim high and miss. We convince ourselves that we are aiming high, but we are afraid of failure. Most times, we aim low and hit the mark, and feel good because we are succeeding.

“Be a Leader.” We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses–great leaders we and our kids can draw from. We are all at the mercy of time and money. How do you spend your time and money? How we spend our time and money is a direct reflection of where our priorities are. McCoy shared a quote from Ghandi: “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with dirty feet.” He said that Colt turned this phrase into his own words: “Thoughts become things.”

“Prepare for open and closed doors.” Those of you who know the story know that what looked like an open door for Colt quickly became a closed door when he got hurt in the first series of plays in the 2010 National Championship at the Rose Bowl. After the loss, Brad went to his son’s room to cheer his son up. He entered his son’s hotel room to find Colt finishing a devotional reading: “My positive energy must be better than my negative energy. My certainty must be me stronger than my doubt. The battle is won before I ever start the fight. I choose faith over fear. Leave a legacy of excellence, love, dedication and service.” Jeremiah stated, ‘Blessed is the man whose trust is in the Lord.’” Trust in the Lord is the key to both open and closed doors. Help you children be ready for either.

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