Tuesday, October 06, 2015

God's Timely Provision

It's always exciting when the Lord does something in a serendipitous manner--unexpectedly and often without fanfare or build-up.  I was privileged to experience such a moment a couple of weeks ago.  One of our church members who is a veteran of multiple missions trips and a leader in our Women on Missions program asked if she could visit with me prior to the meeting of one of the groups.  When she did so, she shared that for quite some time that group had been raising money to help dig a water well somewhere in the world.  The initiative began with one of the ladies having a burden to supply fresh water for those who didn't have access to it.

The issue was that the ministry that they had been considering channeling the funds through had established a cost of around $4000 per well.  The ladies had collected about $650 and wanted to know if some other group might be able to use it to complete a well for much less. 

I shared that one of the churches that we've worked with twice on previous trips to Guatemala has been trying for a prolonged time to obtain a water well on their church property without success and suggested that I'd contact the pastor and see where they stood on the project.  Taking advantage of Facebook Messenger, I had an answer back from him in a few short hours.  The estimated cost to finish the well and also obtain a pump to bring the water to the surface was $670.  When I shared that news with the leader who had brought up the matter to me, she informed me that additional funds had been received that day from among the ladies in the group, pushing the total beyond the figure that the church needed to complete the well.  She excitedly told me that they were thrilled to designate those funds for a church with whom we've previously served in Guatemala and the funds have been sent to Churchnet to be transferred to the church in Guatemala. 

I eagerly anticipate in the near future learning that the church has received those funds and is proceeding with the drilling of the well.  I'm overwhelmingly grateful to the Lord for the generous actions of the Women on Missions group and for international connections that facilitate being able to meet a critical need.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tips for Using the Bible on Social Media

Please pardon the lengthy absence from posting on this blog.  My family and I were able to take a couple of weeks of vacation to beautiful Alaska and Seattle on a cruise to celebrate a bit early our 40th anniversary.  At some point, perhaps I'll share a few pictures of the beautiful scenery that we were able to appreciate as we marveled at God's handiwork so evidently on display there.

Today I wanted to share a link to a very good article about how we use the Bible on social media.  The author, pastor Larry Eubanks of the FBC of Frederick, Maryland, suggests that instead of using the Scriptures to bash others and attack their positions, we need to read the Bible and share it on social media through the lens of the fruit of the Spirit that Paul describes in Gal. 5:22-23. 

It's a good article and well worth reading.  Here's the link to it:

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Field

The title of the post comes from a story that our pastor's father, J.V. McKinney, shares about growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas.  J.V. was here in Lee's Summit yesterday for worship services, and Blake (our pastor) shared the story as an illustration in his message about the Good Samaritan and the power of the gospel to break barriers. 

J.V.'s story appears in Ethics Daily today and is well worth reading.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Brian Kaylor's Message from Churchnet Gathering

Baptist News Global today features an article that highlights portions of Brian Kaylor's address to Churchnet's recent annual gathering in Jefferson City.  As I commented in my own post on the gathering, Brian's message was quite prophetic.

Here is a link to the sermon Brian preached.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

In Honor of Today

I couldn't resist sharing this opportunity to chuckle (or groan) as the case may be.

Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


I have no idea what is causing extraneous text from a previous post to appear in the most recently posted recap of Churchnet's annual meeting.  I've deleted and re-posted it multiple times without being able to resolve the issue.

I'm going to continue to work on the issue, but apologize for the appearance and the difficulty in reading that this has occasioned.

Annual Meeting Recap

Churchnet's annual gathering at FBC Jefferson City last weekend was a wonderful experience.  We kicked the event off as we do each year with our missions banquet.  Forestal Lawton and I shared about the trip to Cuba last October, including pictures of countryside, modes of transportation, churches we visited, etc.  I also gave a briefer description of the most recent Guatemala training trip for pastors and leaders Brian Kaylor and I led this past January.  Each year during the banquet, we receive an offering that helps fund our missions partnerships and this year's response to the offering was very generous.  Between money received and pledges made, the total was right at $7500 toward our goal of $10,000.  I expect we will reach and surpass that goal in the coming weeks as others contribute who were unable to attend the meeting.

FBC Jeff City's choir and orchestra led us in a beautiful time of worship on Friday evening, followed by a challenging and prophetic message from my colleague, Brian Kaylor.  Brian addressed the theme of the gathering which focused on sharing hope by building a community of peace and reconciliation.  It was a timely message in light of the ongoing racial unrest in our nation.  Brian made several references to the pioneering work of Clarence Jordan in the area of racial reconciliation with the establishment back in the 1940s of the Koinonia Farm in Georgia.  Those who lived there (both blacks and whites) were targeted by violent protests as many opposed any efforts toward racial equality and mutual understanding.  Jordan is perhaps best known as the author of the Cotton Patch Gospel, a paraphrase that sets the message of the New Testament in the language and context of the South.

Saturday morning we had a brief business meeting after breakfast to elect officers and approve the adoption of the new Vision 2020 strategic plan that has been hammered out over a 9 month period or so beginning last year.  Here is a video introducing the plan and outlining its main components.

Following the business session, 7 different breakout sessions were offered.  I had comments that several of these were outstanding.  I was unable to attend any other than the two which I led that centered on preparing one's church for a cross-cultural missions experience.  The 5 of us present in the first session had a lively discussion about issues to consider in planning and carrying out a missions trip overseas or in a cultural context other than our own.  In the second session, Jeff Buscher (who serves as a chaplain and professor at William Jewell) and I had a chance to converse about mission philosophy and what Jewell is doing with their students in Honduras, working in a couple of villages there to do community development.  It was a very profitable time of sharing.

Finally, we wrapped up Saturday morning with a beautiful time of worship led by Second Baptist Church in Jefferson City.  The music of their choir and the message by their pastor were both outstanding.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mary's Shame Reversed

Scot McKnight's blog, Jesus Creed, often features posts and articles by a young pastor named Jonathan Storment that I've really enjoyed.  Today he hits a home run with a piece about the shame that Mary endured until Jesus' resurrection reversed everything.  I hope you'll take time to read this article.