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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 May, 2015

It’s Sunday Again: Remembering with Hope

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

It’s Memorial Day weekend.
In thinking about church and preaching, I always try to do something significant about remembering, sacrifice, and love.
For many in today’s culture, Memorial Day has lost its meaning. It is too little about remembering and memorials. It is too much about the first long weekend of summer and going to the lake or the mountains for recreation.
When I was in high school, Memorial Day meant the high school band had to march in the parade even though school had been out a week or more. (We knew about community service before the phrase was coined.) For whatever reason, the holiday, the parade, the march to the cemetery, the “taps”, the prayers and addresses–all of these parts of the occasion seemed somber to a teenager. Someone had made a sacrifice for me, and I would get a Selective Service number when I turned 18.
Remembering is a source of hope. If we do not know hope, we aren’t interested in thinking about the past, the present, or the future.
Hope is renewed in thinking about the past, especially about the actions and work of God.
Hope is sustained in a careful awareness of the future.
Hope for the future is made certain–the things seen in the past and present secure the unseen future. Thus hope and faith connect. Faith has as its foundation hope. Things seen guarantee things not seen.

Dear Father, may we worship today with gladness, yet with seriousness. As we remember the past, may we be especially grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus which gives us hope for tomorrow and forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Honoring Our Mothers–One More Reflection

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Through the years, I have often mentioned my mother in sermons, church bulletins, and more recently in blogs and Facebook postings. Nearly always, someone comments that they would like to have known my mother. Some have mentioned that they were brought to tears as they listened to a sermon or read an article.

I have reflected on this the last couple of days. “Why? Why do simple reflections cause people to cry? Why would people want to know my mother?” There are several answers. One truth, although not technically an answer, is that people want to know those who shaped us because of what they see in us.
We honor our parents, teachers, and mentors by the lives we live. Honoring our mothers is not a once a year occurrence. You can honor your parents today by the life you live.

It’s Sunday Again: Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Mother’s Day sermons are unique. Across the past 50 years, few are the Mother’s Days that I have not had a preaching obligation. Preparing the “just right” sermon for each occasion is always a challenge, a bit of a mystery, and an opportunity to pioneer and blaze new trails. On Mother’s Day, the church expects the sermon to say something about mothers. Today, I do not have a preaching appointment, but I want to say something about mothers.
Of all of the characteristics that mothers exhibit, one seldom mentioned is faithfulness. The mother who is unfaithful to her children is an enigma. She makes the news. Something is wrong. Everyone wants to know, how can it be?
Faithfulness is used to describe friendships, church leaders, ministry, missions, dogs and cars. We value faithfulness. The writer of Hebrews says faithfulness comes from endurance and keeping one’s eyes set on the goal, perseverance and keeping one’s eyes on Jesus. There are other factors, but today I am thinking of these two truths as they relate to mothers, and as they relate to our lives in Christ.
On Mother’s Day we are especially grateful for our mothers and we honor them. Mothers teach us to glorify God.
Contemplating mothers and faithfulness reminds me also of one final truth: if your mother could say to you what is on her heart today, among the things that she would most want to mention is this: Be Faithful!

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