Bobbye: Alta Woods
Okay, please disregard the sick joke by an unnamed relative as I was frying the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. The Texas Thanksgiving holiday could not have been better with and abundance of family, feasting and football. Since our son moved back to Waco last summer, we have enjoyed the nostalgic of visits to the Lone Star State where both our children and two of our grandchildren were born.
The week was framed by a mission conference at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston prior to Thanksgiving and a Lottie Moon Christmas Offering focus at First Baptist Minden, LA following the holiday. Both churches have strong mission involvement overseas and are among the top churches in the SBC in giving to LMCO. We went a little out of our way traveling from Houston to Waco to visit good friends, Bill and Mary Dean Phillips (pictured) who have retired in Marble Falls. We enjoyed many good times traveling with them when Bill served as area director for West Africa.
Prior to turkey day I gave my son a promised early Christmas present of landscaping the backyard of their new home. Applying my well-honed Mississippi horticulture skills, and with the help of two teenage grandsons, we tilled the perimeter and planted aesthetically placed crape myrtles, camellias, nandinas, knock-out roses and loroseptaleum. We were ready for relaxing and feasting on the big day, but only after Papa deep-fried the turkey with a strong dose of creole marinate.
The big delectable, juicy bird did not last long as the family gathered with our daughter-in-law’s sister’s family and some missionary friends. Carving the turkey did allow me to salvage a drumstick for my personal indulgence during the afternoon ballgames—a longtime tradition at our house. It was more exciting watching the usual Dallas Cowboys game in the midst of partisan home state fans in the afternoon and then watching Mississippi State upset Ole Miss in the evening. That was simply the precursor to a full weekend of close games and upsets that followed.
The holiday reminded us of so much for which we are thankful. The blessing of family was highlighted by a half-hour video Skype call with our daughter’s family serving the Lord in Central Asia. We are thankful for health, for ministry opportunities in serving the Lord, and for grandchildren that are growing physically, educationally, and spiritually in their walk with the Lord. And as Americans we are still thankful for the freedoms and prosperity we enjoy in spite of disturbing trends in our nation and around the world.
April 25, 2013
A strange pattern seems to have developed in how we pray. The bulk of our praying is for ourselves and our needs. Corporate prayer is dominated by intercession for those sick and suffering. Perhaps self-centered praying has always been the default content of our supplications, but one seldom hears passionate pleading for the nations and for kingdom issues.
It is encouraging in the midst of thanking God for the rain, invoking His blessings on the worship service and praying for Aunt Tilly in the hospital that someone will ask God to bless the missionaries. It is commendable that one would be aware of those who have left home and family to take the gospel to remote places around the world …
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April 26, 2013
Classical Christian writers often focused on the matter of holiness and the Spirit-filled life, but we seldom dwell on the issues of a sanctified life. We tend to relegate it to the theological realm of our salvation. Knowing that we were saved and cleansed by the blood of Christ, spiritually we are “saints” who are holy or “set apart” in the eyes of God. But that theological reality doesn’t necessarily translate into practical attitudes and behavior.
We tend to think of holiness as an unattainable level of perfection, something to …
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November 18, 2013
Jesus had just commissioned His disciples to be witnesses to the ends of the earth 40 days earlier. The Bible tells us that on the day of Pentecost “men from every nation under heaven were gathered in Jerusalem” (Acts 2:5), and what happened? They heard the gospel in their own language. It was if Jesus was saying, “This is what I was talking about!” They had not yet gone to the nations, but Jesus was bringing the nations to them to hear the gospel.
We are finding increasing numbers of opportunities to connect with people from around the world right where we live. We recently connected with a Palestinian Muslim family down the street as we chatted with the older …
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