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Thanks for visiting our website! This month’s picture is from the August 2018 retreat of Colombian preachers in Santa Marta. I was honored to be asked to participate. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Colombian Preachers

Ministry and mission work is a team effort -- Jan and I have shared the work of ministry and missions for 49+ years! Countless people 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. One of my favorite breakfasts is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of rich Colombian coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and to 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 as disciples of 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 November, 2010

Travel Day: Honduras

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

When the title says “Travel Day”, it usually means that my day began very early.
This is graduation week at Baxter Institute in Honduras. On Saturday, 15 new graduates will be added to the impressive list of over 500 graduates who are working to plant and strengthen churches and share the gospel throughout the Spanish-speaking world, including the United States.
This is also a week of board meetings. Since Baxter operates under the oversight of a registered non-profit Honduran corporation, much of the work of the board must be ratified and actions taken during the week when the board members are present in the country.
I ask your prayers for these graduates, and for the safe travels of the dozens of U.S. supporters and many more members of the families of the graduates as they travel to Honduras for this special occasion.

Giving Thanks in Difficult Days

Monday, November 29th, 2010

The Thanksgiving weekend is past.  Today is “recovery” day.  Most in our nation will return to some version of normalcy.  For some, this Thanksgiving has been another traumatic holiday in a string of downturns and challenges.  Normal is full of trouble.  For others, the holiday was better than normal (or at least better than in recent years)–a sign of economic recovery.

Today, my mind goes back 17 years.  The Monday after that Thanksgiving meant dealing with the untimely deaths of my mother and step-father.  The trip to Kansas, surreal activities, time to consider the nature of life.  Time to think about God and faith and hope; time to question and wonder; time to reflect.

How can one be grateful in difficult days?  It is not easy to give thanks in difficult days.  I have no easy formulas or suggestions.  I can share an observation.  The time to decide that God is God and that God is good is before the difficult days come.  Once the difficulties come, it is easy to blame God–too easy to second-guess God, and self.

The great challenge of faith is deciding about the evidence objectively. Subjective decisions based on dark days and difficulties in life will ever lead to questioning.  (Subjective decisions based on life’s goodness are equally risky!)

God does not do what I think he ought to do, or even what I think he has to do.  God is God.  God’s thoughts and ways and actions are above human activity and comprehension.  God’s eternal view is more than long-term.  God’s view is a forever view.  For that, I am thankful!  Always!

It’s Sunday Again: Eucharist

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Today it falls my responsibility to share some thoughts as the church surrounds the Table and shares communion.  Some churches call the occasion the Eucharist.  In churches of Christ (and most Protestant groups), We do not use the term Eucharist frequently, perhaps not at all formally. What is the Eucharist? What does the term mean?  Why have I chosen to use the term today? 

Eucharist refers to what we more often call the Lord’s Supper or communion. It is literally, the thanksgiving. The term comes from the Greek word which means to give thanks.  The Bible says, Jesus took the bread and gave thanks. The word simply means “thanksgiving.” Jesus gave thanks. The meal is named for the practice that introduces it. 

Here we are on Thanksgiving weekend. As the church assembles for worship, we will share “the thanksgiving”. As we partake, will our hearts swell with gratitude? Are we overwhelmed by the extent of the gift? Do we think that we could never be able to say thank you enough? On this thanksgiving weekend, may we come to the Supper with thanksgiving, individually and collectively. Let us give thanks for the unspeakable gift we remember at the Table! 

Life Savors: Grandchildren

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Our eldest son, Michael, and his family arrived yesterday afternoon for our weekend Thanksgiving celebration.  Having one’s home full of activity–laughter, playing, loving, sharing is a genuine “life savor”.  The end of the day feels different when the house is full of life.

The Psalmist said children are a heritage from the Lord.  Blessed are those with “full quivers.”  Today I note that children and grandchildren are a blessing from the Lord.  Jan is planning dinner for thirteen.  Today we will savor life in the family.  We will spend time with one of life’s little pleasures–our grandchildren.


Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Dear Readers,
On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thinking about the blessings of God in my life. More specifically, I am thinking about the mission work God is enabling at Baxter Institute and Clinic in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I am thankful for the opportunity to be involved in this work. I am thankful for the ways God is working through Baxter to bless the world.

  • I am thankful for the more than 500 graduates who are faithfully preaching the gospel, building churches, evangelizing the lost, and training even more preachers of the gospel. I am thankful that these men and women are giving their lives for the sake of the gospel.
  • I am thankful that we are finding fresh ways to touch the lost people in our world as we explore options such as medical outreach, small groups, church planting teams, and community service.
  • I am thankful for the way the work at the clinic demonstrates the possibility of peace and wholeness.
  • I am thankful for the hearts of our current students who are committed to service in the kingdom.
  • I am grateful for the hospitality and generosity of a great network of supporters and encouragers who make the work at Baxter and the Clinic possible.
  • I am grateful for the board members, administrators, faculty, health professionals, and employees with whom I work and serve.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.” [Psalm 136:1]

What would my grandma say?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

What would my grandma say? I remember her scolding! She wanted me to learn proper etiquette. I should acknowledge every gift and card. I should do more than sign my name when I send a thank you–I should also write a little note. I remember her admonitions, even if I haven’t always succeeding in following them perfectly.

Now we are in the electronic communication age. Greetings, cards, and even gifts are sent in an instant. One can receive hundreds of cards and greetings. What would my grandma say?

Would she still say that I should answer each of them individually? I don’t know. But given the virtual impossibility of sending personal thank you notes to all who sent greetings, shared love and friendship, and wrote words of well wishing for my birthday, this is my acknowledgement.

I have very special friends–you buoy my spirits and keep me going when quitting would be easier. Thank you for your love, humor, encouragement, friendship, and faith. Because of you, I have experienced another “life savor.”

[I think my grandma would say that I should attempt to return the favor. So, that is my resolution. I am going to be more diligent in encouraging others.]

Another Birthday!

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Wall postings, Facebook, status comments, e-mail, e-cards, I-phones, snail mail….   None of these words or phrases existed for my early birthdays.  We live in a changing world.

Dozens of birthday greetings, literally from around the world, mysteriously entering my electronic mailbox, many of them just after midnight!  To all who shared, thank you for your love and for remembering (even though we now get electronic reminders of the birthdays of hundreds of our acquaintances).  I appreciate your presence in my life, your encouragement, and your love.   

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