Monday, September 29, 2008


The above trailer is for the new movie Fireproof which was the big surprise hit at the box office this weekend with its incredible strong 4th place opening gross of 6.5 M. despite only appearing in 839 screens and costing just $500K.

The movie is the latest from Sherwood Pictures, a nonprofit ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, that previously put out the popular Facing the Giants and the lesser-known Flywheel. The PG film stars the grown-up star of TV’s Growing Pains, Kirk Cameron (now evangelical ministry and actor) and is about a firefighter and his efforts to save his crumbling marriage. I absolutely love the tagline: “Never leave your partner behind.”

Michael Catt, of Sherwood Pictures said, “Most movies are about relationships that lead to marriage, but 'Fireproof' picks up seven years into a marriage headed for divorce. And the question is: Can a cold marriage revive? Why stay together?"

Yes it's no secret that U.S. marriages are in crisis. The U.S. Census Bureau and marriage organizations vary on the stats but agree that nearly half of all weddings lead to divorce—with rates highest in the Bible belt. Some 25 percent of U.S. adults divorce at least once; and given the abundance of poor marriages, many couples skip it outright.

Lord willing, we are planning for several couples from Central to go sometime in the next week or so to see the movie. I do believe that these kinds of movies are worth supporting. I look forward to seeing it with my wife Maggie and other Christian couples.

For Christ,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Baptism to Remember

I have had the privilege of performing many baptisms in my ministry as a minister, but never one like in the above video. The minister showed great restraint and grace in his public response. I’m certain his private response was appropriate.

I recall one “memorable” baptism back in the summer of 1997 at Burnt Cabin camp. At the time I was the summer youth intern at Haskell. We attended Fort Gibson’s camp session and Terry Hackworth was the director. One evening a young man from his youth group was baptized by his grandfather in shallow end of the swimming. You could tell that he had probably not done many baptisms. When he went to put immerse his grandson under the water, I don’t know if the boy slipped or if the grandfather lost his footing or what, but the young man turned sideways and needless to say, it was clearly visible and evident to the majority of the witnesses (all the campers and counselors) that he wasn’t completely “immersed.” I was so impressed with how immediately Terry so gracefully and kindly stepped in immediately pointed out the “problem” and asked the grandfather to “do it again” and made a comment to everyone in effect that said we want this young man to fully buried in the waters of baptism as the N.T. instructs and we want it to be certain. I always have greatly admired and respected Terry for having the courage and wisdom to realize and see the need to address this “teaching moment” with these young people and not leave the baptism in doubt or question in anyone’s mind. He used it to draw attention to the fact that baptism is an immersion in water where the old sinful man is buried and a new person arises in Christ. (Rom. 6:3-4)

May each of us viewing this clip take it as an opportunity to remember our own special moment when we were baptized into Christ, having our sins forgiven, and may we embrace a new surge of enthusiasm and joy in Christ.

But like I said, having had many wonderful baptism experiences, there are a few I wish the camera had been rolling. Do you have any memorable or even funny baptism experiences or moments?

In Christ,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Who is the Greatest?

Ever wonder who is the greatest person? The disciples of Jesus did. They asked Jesus about it in Matthew 18:1, "At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

The reason they wanted to know is because they wanted to find out how they could be the greatest. Pride motivated this question. But Jesus answer surprised them for sure. It was not an answer that human pride, lust or greed would produce. It is the answer of truth, love, and righteousness.

Matthew 18:2 -4 says, "He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."Greatness does not come from wealth, fame, power or even usefulness. Greatness is not determined by what you have to offer or what you have given. Greatness comes from the virtue and character of humility. Hummm! Who knew?

Humbly in Christ,


Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)"

I remember exactly what I was doing on that Tuesday, September morning. I still vividly remember my wife calling my at my church office in Cleveland, OK and telling me I needed to turn on the TV—New York city was being attacked---two planes crashed the World Trade Center – it’s bad! And then like everyone else it seemed all we did for the next few days was watching the news. There are really few events that a happen in a person’s life that they can recall knowing exactly where they were when they heard the news. 9/11 is truly one of them.

And so as our nation prepares to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks later this week, we should all pause to be grateful that our nation has not suffered further attacks since that dreadful day. We should also pray for the families who continue to endure the pain of that day and for those who work to keep our nation safe at home and abroad.

May we never forget!

Warning: This video is a little graphic

God bless,

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pickin Palin

Warning: This is a political posting! I don’t know about you, but for a Vice Presidential candidate, I’ve been pretty impressed by Sarah Palin, especially how she and her family have held themselves together after over a week of blatant left-wing media lies, gossip, and attacks!! Yes, she still has a little ways to go in proving herself, but so far, I’ve been impressed! Now, what’s funny about her is that if you'll go to this website you can read an excellent article about Palin (, it has the following logo at the bottom: Now that is exactly what my wife Maggie, told me the other night with a smile!! I’m wondering if there will be many more American women (and men) out there feeling and doing the same!

Here are just some things I have noted about her.

1: She speaks for small town America- that elitist’s like to attack (and even Obama has done during the primaries).

2. She appeals to conservative voters- seems to have real conservative Christian values and beliefs and she most certainly set the example regarding her views on abortion.

3. She is someone who is a smart debater and is not intimidated by the media or male politicians.

4. She is someone who actually had a real job before she went into politics.

5. She is someone who got there without the vast political machines.

6. She is someone who has never been connected with crazed racist preachers, terrorists turned university lecturers, corrupt convicted slum lords, or looney fringe groups.

7. She is a smart, articulate, honest, good living politician who happens to be a woman.

8. She is someone who is not tied to big city media elites, celebrity culture, Hollywood stars. In other words somebody with whom we can identify.

9. People see a politician who is NOT afraid to take on her own party to break the old boy network and expose corruption.

10. She is someone who has more experience in actual government from running a small town (great grass roots training) to governor of a state which is MORE experience than Barack Obama has had.

11. She appeals to blue collar voters who see a family who has got somewhere through hard work by both parents.

12. I think we as taxpayers see a politician who returned state money to the tax payer instead of spending it on grandiose projects.

13. She is a governor of an energy rich state with a realistic view about drilling oil and will provide real leadership to our energy crisis.

14. She is a working Moms with kids, working Mom with a handicapped kid. A working mom with a husband who has done physical labor for a living.

Bottom line for me, I’m voting for McCain/Palin because I think they are best for this country out of the two tickets and yes, my concerns are also rightly summed up below as seen on this bumper sticker: Smile now!!

Kind of scary and makes you wonder if it’s prophetic!!!

Seriously, regardless of who you actually vote for, and regardless of who wins, no one man (or woman) can bring about the change this country so badly needs! Until the kingdom of God is the rule of Jesus as Lord in the hearts and the lives of men and women (Col. 3:15; Eph. 3:17), things won’t ultimately change for the good. I just wish all Christians had the same level of energy, excitement and enthusiasm for teaching and sharing the good news of Jesus as they do talking and debating politics.

We should understand that as Christians our greatest impact, influence in this life, is as a citizen of God’s kingdom! And whoever becomes President, will need our prayers because the Bible tells us that this world is not our home and the kingdom (i.e., nation) that is our chief concern is heaven and so we want to pray for our country’s leaders so that they may lead us toward peace and righteousness. (1 Peter 2:1-2) In the meantime, we can have a little fun and healthy debate about who might do this the best for our nation!

May God bless us all richly in Christ,