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May 2017 Mindsets

7 Mindsets for Creativity

1) View Creativity As Essential  We say that the Bible is our sole authority for faith and practice. Faith, yes. Practice, not so fast. We need to be honest about this. Most of the time the Bible tells us what to do without telling us exactly how to do it. We have to exercise some creativity to decide the best way …

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May 2017

The Creative Church

“Oh, those poor conservative independent Baptists! I feel so sorry for them. They are really limiting themselves by being against everything, especially creativity. It’s obvious they don’t get out much to see what all is available to them. If only we can change their mindset and get them to embrace some new ideas, they could become relevant once again.” May I …

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March 2017

Reaching Our Jerusalem

That now-President Trump is an enigma is an understatement. There hasn’t been a more polarizing president in my lifetime. Each day presents another piece of evidence that he has little experience in politics. And that is a significant reason many people voted for him. Now that he is in office there seems to be a new firestorm every day, with …

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Jan 2017 2

Purity Vs. Unity

One special week near the end of the college football season is referred to as “Rivalry Week.” It is a week of games between teams in the same conference (though not always) that despise each other. Even if one of the rival teams has a down year, beating its rival makes everyone feel better about the rest of the season. …

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Jan 2017

Achieving a Unified Church

This issue of the Baptist Times initiates a step I’ve wanted to take for quite some time. In the past, we’ve published issues that dealt with particular themes, but this year we’re taking that to another level. I’ve long had a desire to create coordinated substantive content about various subjects that are, or should be, important to independent Baptist churches. …

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Nov 2016

Clueless Christians in Need of Discernment

A moving sidewalk revealed two classes of people recently and confirmed something I’ve been promoting in a current preaching series on discernment. You know what a moving sidewalk is, right? It’s an escalator without the up and down. I stepped onto one a few weeks ago and noticed the same sign that most all of them display, “Walk to the …

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Sept 2016

Execution: The Danger Lurking in Every Invitation

I know some of you likely will refuse to read more than this opening paragraph. That is understandable because my premise is shocking, but you might just be one of those who needs most to read a little further. Here it is: It is possible for environments that involve the most preaching to actually have the most deceived people. Since …

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July 2016

Don’t Bypass the Blessings

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. (Prov. 27:1) I started out on my typical morning run of three miles at Boomer Lake in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It was about 5:45 a.m. and temperature in the 20s. The early chest pains in the first mile were easily chalked up to running in the …

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The Pastoral Heart: A Pastor’s Response When A Member Ignores His Counsel

God reminded me of an important pastoral lesson in my reading this morning. I love the people God has entrusted to me as their under shepherd. The overwhelming majority of the time it is a true joy to serve them, even to sacrifice for them. But, I’ve also lost perspective a few times. I’ve noticed other pastors doing the same. …

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CautionaryTale Lg

A Cautionary Tale for Conservative Fathers, Especially Pastors

I was given a couple priceless gifts recently. They are more precious because at one time I was on track to forfeit them. Here’s the story. These gifts were a couple actions from my two sons, Daniel and Samuel. As a result of some extensive study on technology for the Baptist Times, I preached a couple messages to our church …

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