Archive for October, 2012

Remember Cubans too

October 31, 2012

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, our thoughts and prayers go out to the estimated 60 million people affected by this “super storm” which struck the East Coast this weekend. Tennessee Baptists have been assigned to work with the Baptist Convention of New England.

Disaster relief teams either have left or will be leaving soon to offer assistance to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

As we continue to pray for relief efforts and those whose lives have been altered by the hurricane here in the United States, I ask you to also pray for Cuba.

Santiago, Cuba, was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, acccording to a news report Oct. 30 in Baptist Press. Having been to Santiago with my church on mission trips, I have developed many lasting friendships there. It saddens me to know that some of my friends could have lost their homes.

The Baptist Press story also noted many of the churches and house churches there were damaged or destroyed.

Most Cubans didn’t have much to lose. They are resourceful people. Despite the turmoil there, the BP story noted Cuban Baptists are ministering in the midst of this. I would expect nothing less.

I have said many times that Baptists here in the United States could learn a lot from our Cuban brothers and sisters in Christ. They have a love for the Lord and a dedication to serve Him that is truly amazing.

Pray for Cuban Baptists as they show His love to many of their friends and family members who have not yet come to know Him. Allow them to see Christ’s love through their efforts.

A good sign

October 19, 2012

Early voting for the upcoming election in November began this week.

The Tennessee Baptist Convention is allowing its facility to be used for early voting in Williamson County.

I read a news report on Oct. 19 which noted that more than 228,000 Tennesseans had cast their ballots during the first two days of early voting. I believe it.

In three days since the early voting period began Oct. 17, people have been streaming in and out of the TBC building continually throughout the day to cast their ballots.

My guess is that many people will vote early so they don’t have to encounter long lines on Nov. 6.

My prayer is that we have one of the best voter turnouts ever when all the ballots have been cast.

As I wrote in an editorial in the Baptist and Reflector on Oct. 10, it doesn’t really matter whether we like the candidates or not. We still have a responsibility to know the candidates and the issues and vote according to our conscience and, more importantly, as God leads.

God has blessed us by allowing us to live in a nation where we are free to take advantage of it.

Early voting continues through Nov. 1. If you can’t get to the polling sites by then, make sure you are there on Nov. 6. VOTE.

Memorizing Scripture

October 5, 2012

Art Toalston, editor of Baptist Press and a long-time friend, recently has written a new ebook entitled When I Meditate.

In the Baptist Press article Toalston detailed his journey which began with a speaker 12 years ago encouraging the congregation at the church Toalston was attending to begin memorizing Scripture. Since then he has memorized about 75 passages of Scripture.

Wow. Memorizing Scripture is one of the hardest things I try to do as a Christian. I have tried numerous times and I will continue trying because it is so important, but it definitely is not easy for me and, I suspect, others are in the same boat.

That’s why I appreciate Bible Drill and other programs aimed at helping children memorize Scripture. It is so much easier to memorize when you’re younger. I find that to be more true with each passing year.

Art’s book and his effort to memorize is an inspiration for me to continue my memory work. It’s not easy, but having Scripture firmly entrenched in your mind and heart is invaluable.

Those of us who find it challenging to memorize Scripture must not give up. Even if we have to “relearn” the same verse over and over it’s worth it.