Monday, March 24, 2008


It is my hope that you had a joyful resurrection day. It is my further hope that you carry it around in your heart every day. It is because of the death, burial and most importantly, the resurrection that we have been given access to the promises of God, who in His great wisdom, has given us His Holy Spirit as earnest (Eph 1:14).

I was blessed to have dinner with an extended family yesterday after worship. Among the many things we discussed were eggs, gifts and "Easter Bunnies." Naturally, these things have been part of the lexicon of this time of the year for many centuries. Rather than taking up that debate, I find it useful to remind us all about not only the sacrifice of our Savior on our behalf, but something more that is seldom thought about: our role in His crucifixion.

For those of you that are members of the O'Fallon church of Christ, you may be aware of a wonderful piece of art by Thomas Blackshear that hangs in my office. This picture is a constant and powerful reminder to me of both of these things. So my offering this week is a real look at the purpose and point of this time of year. I share with you an original poem inspired by the sacrifice of our Lord.


"There is so much blood!" I groan
As it pools around my feet
The hammer heavy in my hand
Fingers cold from dead nail's grip

Anger's raging inferno
Reduced to cold wet ashes
Righteous indignation
Transformed to crushing guilt

"What have I done to this innocent?"
As my heart collapses within
The insignificance of who I am
Magnified by the immensity of Him

Surely there is no salvation
For the murder that I have committed
His blood is a crimson stain
On my soul, Hester Prynne's letter

Completely undone am I
With no hope left in this world
Contemplating my future destruction
Welcoming what I richly deserve

As my knees buckled, life leaving me
From behind he raised me and said,
"You didn't do this to me,
Out of love I did this for YOU"

Hebrews 6:4-6

Each One Reach One
Each One Teach One

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I must first say that I'm a bit embarrassed that I've neglected this form of communication with you badly. I know that there are number of you that might wander this way from time to time and perhaps experience disappointment that there has been nothing new posted here since Christmas.

Rather than an excuse, let me provide you with reason (and this is directed more toward the O'Fallon family, however I hope, trust and pray that any who come this way might be encouraged).

This has been an extremely busy year filled with great things for the glory of the Lord. I hope that many of you are aware of most if not all of these goings on, but just in case, let me detail a few exciting things for you here:
  • Our "Each One Reach One, Each One Teach One" theme has been amazing. We introduced the concept as it relates to our ABCs of Simple Christianity, during the first two weeks of January. We then finished up our series on what "thus saith the Lord" to the seven churches in Asia. The last two messages in the series gave us a great segue into fulling embracing the theme for the year by demonstrating the concepts in what the Lord said to the churches in Sardis and Philadelphia. From there we began a month of messages highlighting Each One Teach One and the beginning of March saw the start of a series of messages based on Each One Teach One. Many have been encouraged and edified by these messages. In case you missed any, they are on the website.
  • Though I wouldn't put it under the category of excitement, we've had two of our elders, Ken Longar and Burney Baggett step down to take on other duties within the congregation. Burney has agreed to take on the responsibility of Minister of Education. This will be a massive benefit to our family and we are looking forward to the great things he will do. Ken is still in prayer about what God has next for him, but he and Jo are still with us, still active, still serving and still doing great things in the Lord. They have been a wonderful help to many members, not the least of which is Anderson family, who recently lost John, and the Jones family, who recently welcomed little Elijah.
  • A group of volunteers has been established to breath even more life into the congregation. Twice monthly meetings have been established to discuss things like a church social calendar, small groups, fellowship and involvement, ladies ministries, men's ministries and youth ministries. This group is not just discussing things, but have indeed placed things in motion. Most of the rest of this list has to do with the actions of this group. Exciting.
  • Men's Power Breakfast have been established and scheduled monthly. We've had two so far this year and we are averaging about 25-30 men and boys that participate
  • Women's Prayer Luncheons have been established and scheduled quarterly. We've had one so far and it had similar attendance to the men's effort
  • Alan Burnett is chairing a committee of interested members who will form the Youth & Family Minister search team. More will be discussed about this in the next few weeks
  • The Walker Family has agreed to take on the church calendar for social activities. We believe that getting people moving will help each of us to reach all of us as well as provide opportunities to teach those who we pray will one day be part of us.
  • Though we are saddened by the departure of Andy McCowan from his years long duties as small group coordinator, former elder Charlie Ontiveros has agreed to take on the responsibility of guiding and assisting our small group program. There are surely exciting things to come on that front.
  • Scott Rank has infused new enthusiasm as it relates to our newsletter. This will become one of our prime means for getting information out to the family. We are even discussing mailing them out to members' homes to ensure they have this information in hand.
  • Due to the departure of great leader Julie Edwards, Michelle Lewis, Mary Dell Baggett and Belinda Manis have agreed to take on the responsibility of women's ministries.
  • John Meyer, as deacon of involvement is all over the place with gathering information about what our members' interests and capabilities are in the effort to establish even more activities and ministries in which members can become involved. Watch for the One To Another Ministry. Exciting!

Of course, I could go on and on. The bottom line is that we are a people on the move. We are a people busy for God. And though God has placed several of our long time and beloved members in other works, often in other states, He continues to bless us with new family members. The McDonald family had joined us from Memphis and we've seen the baptism of Lisa Carpenter and Rod Nash in the last few weeks.

Yes beloved, these are exciting times and they promise to be even more exciting and enriching as time goes on. If you are not a part of what's going on, I encourage you to get involved. This is the Lord's church and WE ALL are members. We each need each other to do what God has blessed the ability to do to ensure the health and welfare of the body.

May God Continue To Richly Bless You!

Each One Reach One

Each One Teach One