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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mexico

Enjoyed the Thanksgiving weekend with the fam, and another good weekend is coming up.  This coming Sunday our church will get to see Benjamin Loera and family.  Benjamin is one of the missionaries we support.  He lives in southern Mexico, and operates the "Alas De Dios" children's home.  I visited the Loeras last year and can testify that they work hard at what they do.  They've more than doubled their numbers since I was there, and have begun a construction project as well.  This is no mean feat, considering that the "staff" is made up of Benjamin, his wife Magvis, and their daughter.

Mexico is a little hard to understand, spiritually speaking.  It is still overwhelmingly Catholic, but evangelical churches are doing well in many places (and so are cults, by the way).  But believe it or not, there are still people in Mexico who have no meaningful access to the gospel.  Mexico is a big country, and some communities are well isolated from the others.  In practice this means that they don't have lots of outside contact.  Their religious views go way back, are fervently held, and are very tough to crack..

I've grown to love the country of Mexico over the past few years, with its pristine beaches, majestic mountains, and untamed jungles.  There are small, rustic farming communities, and mammoth, ultra-modern urban centers.  I love the food, the culture....everything.  In Mexico you'll find some of the warmest, most giving people anywhere.  But the plain fact is that there is much spiritual darkness there, and much, much work remaining to be done.

If you're interested, here is a good fact sheet about it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DNA Test

How time flies.  It's been a year since I walked the aisle during the SBTC annual convention and committed our church to adopting an unreached, unengaged people group.  What followed was 12 long months of prayer, focused study, and in-depth conversations, and now we are finally seeing a path forward.  Some things are becoming clear to our FOCUS group, and the unity among us has been further confirmation that we are going about this the right way.

Part of this whole process has been identifying the "DNA" of our church.  What are our strengths/weaknesses?  Where might we best fit in?  And though we haven't decided where, exactly, we will serve, we all agree that we will serve, and that God will use us to accomplish His global purposes.

On another note, I've been spending lots of time lately planning the missions camp.  I just received my brochures that I had printed up.  If you'd like one (or more), let me know and I'll get it out to you post-haste.

As I write this I'm preparing for a little Thanksgiving merriment with my family.  I don't get to spend every holiday with them as I once did, so I cherish the times when I can.  There are very few things in this life that are more valuable than a supportive family, and I have it.  It's true: the best things in life are not things.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Status Quo We Can Believe In

So the elections were held last week, and I for one am really confused.  A majority of Americans think that we are on the wrong track, yet the president gets a second term, and the House and Senate remain under the control of the Republicans and Democrats respectively.  I think it's safe to say that we can look forward to 4 more years of posturing, finger-pointing, and a general lack of seriousness about the mess we're in.

(Did you know that the U.S. government adds another 1 trillion dollars to our national debt every 9 months?)

On a brighter note, this week our staff was in San Antonio for our annual state convention meeting.  I am grateful for our Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.  It is a great fit for me: theologically conservative, forward-looking, and mission driven.

The whole event was capped off by a sermon from Charles Stanley.  I so admire Dr. Stanley; he has had his share of hardship, disappointment, and harsh criticism, and still he soldiers on.  At 80 years of age, he is nearing the end of a faithful ministry.  The world is not worthy of men like that.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Change We Can Believe In?

I deliberately try to stay away from partisan politics in this blog.  But on this, the eve of our presidential election, I will at least confess this much: I'm a bit of a political junky.  Talk radio?  Cable TV shoutfests?  Opinion magazines?  Yes, yes, and yes.

But this little indulgence of mine is often very, very frustrating.   As Exhibit A I give you the 2012 political season that (mercifully) will be over tomorrow.  Looking for serious discussions on the problems America faces?  Yearning for in-depth analysis?   Good luck.  Modern campaigns, especially presidential ones, are slick, made-for-TV productions that are scripted to a fair thee well.  Even the "debates" are largely just party talking points delivered live.  The result is a focus group tested, billion dollar beauty contest that, IMHO, is quite unworthy of the office.

Now, I could fire off several more paragraphs lamenting what I think is wrong with today's politics: the lack of civility, the dishonesty, the shallowness (not to mention those infernal campaign slogans!).  But what would be the point?  Politics has always had its ugly side, and that won't change anytime soon.  But it leaves me feeling queasy anyway, and ashamed that we aren't demanding better.



About The Election

A friend sent me this commentary about tomorrow's election.  Worth a listen.