Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Busy Weekend Ahead

This is stacking up to be a busy (and prayerfully a blessed) weekend.  Carol Bercian, our missions partnership liaison in Guatemala and director of the Tabitha Ministry in Guatemala City, will be arriving in Kansas City tomorrow evening.  She will be the featured speaker at ChurchNet's missions banquet, a part of the larger Share Hope Summit, taking place at Windermere Baptist Conference Center on Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Following the conclusion of the Summit, we'll be driving back to Lee's Summit (about 3 hours) and will have a get-together that evening for all of those who have participated from our church on missions trips to Guatemala.  On Sunday morning, I'll be driving Carol up to St. Joseph where she will speak at Wyatt Park Baptist Church.  Wyatt Park has partnered with us on our last two trips as a church to Guatemala and their pastor, Josh Stowe, was one of the conference leaders at the training seminar in January of this year.

On Sunday evening, Carol will be speaking at our evening service (an hour earlier than usual) and afterwards there will be a benefit concert for the Tabitha Ministry that will also serve as a wrap-up to church's youth group's Disciple Now Weekend.  Three different bands will be playing and there will be an art auction as well to benefit the Tabitha Ministry.  The concert, advertised here on Facebook, has also been featured on K-Love's concert announcement listing.

It should be an exciting weekend that will hopefully be a strong promotion for ChurchNet's Guatemalan missions partnership and the Tabitha Ministry specifically.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lee Trevino's Influence and Ours

At the height of his popularity on the PGA tour, Lee Trevino once remarked that there were two things that weren’t long for this world—dogs that chase cars, and professional golfers who miss the green with their second shots. Trevino had a knack for off-the-cuff quips that left the spectators positioned close enough to hear them chuckling in amusement. Growing up as I did in South Texas where I golfed occasionally with my dad, I noticed that Trevino’s notoriety as one of the first Mexican-Americans to achieve success on the PGA tour inspired a lot of other Hispanics to take up the sport. Golf has often been viewed as something of a rich man’s game—given the high costs of clubs and equipment, cart rentals, and green fees—not to mention the exorbitant membership dues of private clubhouses. The economics of golf also dictated that it was predominantly a white man’s sport.

Trevino played a major role in overcoming the racial barrier in golf. He had dropped out of school at 14 to work as a caddy at golf courses in Dallas in addition to shining shoes. After a four-year stint with the Marines, Trevino became a golf pro in El Paso, TX. He won the U.S. Open his second year on the tour and would eventually win 29 PGA events. “Supermex,” or “The Merry Mex” as he was known, was likeable and good-natured, inspiring many young Hispanics to take up golf.

Trevino’s life story prompts me to ask the question, “Whom are we influencing and inspiring by the way we live?” “Are our lives serving as an example to challenge others to achieve greatness?” That greatness hopefully isn’t measured by tournaments won, trophies amassed, or bank accounts enriched, but by faithful service to others in Christ’s name.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An Excellent Blog Post

One of my favorite bloggers, Alan Cross, has written an excellent post that asks the question, "Are Southern Baptists Capable of Being Missional?"  His historical analysis of what has brought the SBC to where they are today is especially insightful. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Associated Baptist Press article

Vicki Brown of Word & Way interviewed me last week for an upcoming article in the paper.  She emailed me yesterday to say that Associated Baptist Press had picked up the article.  Here's a link to it.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

ChurchNet Board Meeting

One of the really positive things to come out of yesterday's ChurchNet board meeting was a very good discussion by two of our teams (Missions Mobilization, Resources and Relationships) with Roger Hatfield, executive director of Future Leadership Foundation.  FLF was founded in 2002 and has concentrated its efforts predominantly in Eastern Europe to this point.  They respond to requests from national entities in several of those countries to provide leadership training events.  Their philosophy and approach to doing so matches quite closely the approach that we have taken as an organization, so there is lots of potential for shared ministry.  I foresee that an eventual partnership between our groups will be a boost for each of us--providing synergy and helping both organizations to maximize resources. 

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Fresh Appreciation for Bible Translators

I’ve done something unique the last couple of weeks in the Wednesday night Bible study time.  I typically prepare an outline for the study each week with a summary of the major truths and insights found in the passage.  The past two weeks I’ve tried my hand at offering a paraphrase of a number of the key verses in the chapters we’ve examined.  That’s a far different exercise than engaging in translation from the original biblical languages, but it has caused me to grow in my appreciation for the work of Bible translators. 

Translators are faced with the daunting task of faithfully expressing the meaning of the ancient biblical text in a manner that communicates in our contemporary language and culture.  While many still read the King James Version of the Bible (originally translated in 1611), it’s safe to say that none of us speak 17th-century English.  Many of the words and expressions from that era would need to be translated into modern lingo for us to grasp their meaning today.

In a sense, that’s the challenge we all face as Christians.  We’re to take the unchanging truths of Scripture and contextualize them in a world that is becoming increasingly biblically illiterate.  To a world that deems the message as archaic and mythical, we have the privilege and responsibility of communicating the Bible’s relevance in a clear and penetrating fashion.  A transformed life goes a long way toward underscoring the legitimacy of the message and the messenger.  Let’s live the truth daily.

ChurchNet Meeting tomorrow

Looking forward tomorrow to our quarterly board meeting of ChurchNet (formerly known as the Baptist General Convention of Missouri).  I'll have the opportunity of giving an update on the recent trips to Guatemala.  In addition, Roger Hatfield of the Future Leadership Foundation will be meeting with us to consider and explore some ministry partnership opportunities in Latin America.  FLF has a long history of providing leadership training events in Eastern Europe, but they're looking to expand and/or re-focus on our southern neighbors.  It should be a great meeting as we prayerfully seek direction about possible collaboration between our two organizations.