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Friday, September 28, 2012

Streams In The Desert

Nothing compares to Facebook for sheer foolishness, but ocassionally one finds a jewel among the rubbish.  A friend of mine posted this article there about the state of the modern church.  I wish I could disagree with him.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Discipleship Misc.

Our Sunday evening discipleship classes are going full bore, and though it pains me to admit it, the participation has been better than I thought it would be.  We had 25 students in our ESL class last night, and the 2 "resolution" classes are doing well.  But the greatest surprise has been our Spanish language classes.  The women's class is having about 11 each week, and the mixed class (on the family) is having about 9.  While that's not exactly a multitude, it is a marked improvement. 

FOCUS I

Suppose you were in the market for a new car.  Let us further suppose that there is only one car dealer in your area.  You drop by the lot to have a look at the inventory, and learn that there are 3,800 cars to choose from.  How in the world would you decide? 

Of course, you could eliminate many of the cars right away.  Some would be too expensive, others the wrong color, still others the wrong size.  But once you narrowed the field somewhat, there would still be hundreds of possibles.  Now what?

Our church is coming to grips with the fact that there are around 3,800 UUPG in the world, and we must choose ONE of them.  Some of them are probably easy to discard (for various reasons), but we're still left with quite a challenge.

We've assembled a FOCUS group to help us wade through all of this, and Saturday morning was our first meeting.  There were 16 or so present; we talked about expectations, assumptions, and goals for our fall meetings.  It was a great session, and I was pleased as punch with how things went.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mercedes

This week has been a doozy.  I spent much of the day Tuesday in Mercedes, Texas at a lunch meeting.  Seems our state convention is considering putting a staff person down here in the valley, so some of the big brass from HQ came down to feel us out.  This is a great idea, and is much appreciated. 

If you are familiar with our ministry at the HMC, you know that it's "feast" for us during the summer months, and "famine" for the rest of the year.  Our staff has had a lot of conversation about how to best use those facilities over there, especially during the off-season.  We have several things in the hopper, some of which we'll announce soon.  It's just that, with the U.S. economy on life support, and the violence in Mexico continuing unabated, our HMC ministry has suffered quite a bit.  We've been forced to rethink our approach.  Honestly, that hasn't been all bad.

Speaking of the HMC, there is a group of students from First Baptist School over there now.  Our student ministers, along with other volunteers, are leading a weekend retreat for some of the students.  I pray that it'll be a blessing to all.

Last, but certainly not least, we will have our first FOCUS group meeting tomorrow morning.  We'll be discussing, in some detail, what it means to adopt an unreached people group, and how to do it well.  I'll be posting an update after the meeting.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Read The Bible For Life

A classic, I once heard someone say, is a book that everyone has, but nobody reads.  By this definition, the Bible is a classic for way too many of us. 

So if the Bible is so wonderful, why don't we read it more?  Lack of time?  No interest?  Rather do other things?  I'm sure all of these are true.  But for many Christians, they simply don't know how.  No one has ever taught them that Bible reading is a skill, and that there are things one must know to do it to maximum effect.

Beginning tomorrow night we begin a series here at FBC called "Read The Bible For Life".  RTBFL was developed to address the very real problem of Bible illiteracy in the church.  It's deep, but not muddy.  You can read more about it here

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Institute

Tonight we begin the Fall semester of our Bible institute at First Baptist.  Once again there will be an English and Spanish version.  Yours truly will be leading the latter.  Most, if not all, of my students are coming back this semester, along with 2 or 3 newbies.  Subject: Old Testament Survey.  Please pray for us as we learn together.

FOCUS Updated

Our FOCUS process begins in a couple of weeks.  If you'd like to be a part of this exciting next step in our UUPG process, you should contact me yesterday.  I ordered 2 or 3 extra books, and I expect that they'll be spoken for very soon.

The ministry that produced the manual/book has just updated its website.  If you'll click on the video on the left side of their homepage, you'll get a good little summary of what they do there.

postscript: this is my 200th post!  Congratulations to me.