Connecting the Dots in an Unconnected World

Friday, August 28, 2009


"Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters."
~ Samuel Adams

"The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities. ... In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate -- look to his character."
~ Noah Webster

"The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families. ... Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics."
~ John Adams

"[W]ith respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age..."
~ Thomas Jefferson

"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth -- and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? ... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."
~ Patrick Henry

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Politics of Fear

The politics of fear calls for change without articulating or defining the necessary change. It then bemoans certain disaster unless you accept the stated premise of change.

The politics of fear portrays a ruinous future unless drastic and immediate steps are taken. The impact of delay will be the decline and ultimate demise of any possible future.

The politics of fear at least implies that those elected to positions of leadership are wiser and know that which is best for their constituents.

The politics of fear tolerates no disagreement and responds to any questioning with an incredulous attitude functionally stating, “How can you question me?”

The politics of fear is often promoted by a charismatic leader who has risen to power and influence without any prior commitment to or participation in their organization.

The politics of fear operates from a position of might makes right. While it may be desirable to bring along everyone involved in a process. Leadership will often choose to “go it alone” simply because they perceive they have the votes to win.

The politics of fear are most often used to promote a personal ideology or agenda as opposed to the current ideology or agenda.

I am certain many think I am speaking of national politics. While this may be true is it possible that Southern Baptists are taking a page out of secular politics? If change is coming to our dear Southern Baptist Zion (it probably should come) it should include a very broad representation from our churches and allow for time to not only to digest any proposed changes but provide for legitimate input from the broad base of Southern Baptist congregations. Southern Baptists can be trusted.

While there is no doubt more that can and should be done to carry out the Great Commission Southern Baptists have established and supported the greatest mission effort in the history of Christianity. Give them the facts and a biblical, logical solution and they will follow good Godly leadership.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.“
~Ernest Benn

Monday, August 17, 2009

No More Free Exercise of Religion

Do we still possess the freedom of religion in the United States? That is a question that we should never be required to ask. The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

However, a liberal judiciary and activist judges have reinterpreted the first amendment to the point that a pair of Florida men may go to jail for praying at their school. An August 15, 2009 Fox News article titled, Florida Principal, Athletic Director Could Go to Jail for Prayer Before Lunch at School, details the account and charges being brought against these two Christian men.

While Islam and Satan worship are to be tolerated, Bible believing Christians have become the persecuted people of 21st century America. It is insane that men might go to jail for praying at school. Not only are Christian rights being snatched away all manner of American freedom is disappearing. It is time to speak up and have your voice heard. To do nothing is to give away the privilege of a free people.

History records Baptist as a most persecuted people. Could history repeat itself in America?

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. “
~Thomas Paine

Friday, August 14, 2009

Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Churches

Thursday, August 13, 2009 Baptist Press posted and article titled, Profiles: GCR Task Force Members. This article provides information concerning those men and women who have been appointed to the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force. The task force was appointed by Convention President, Dr. Johnny Hunt “to study how Southern Baptists can work “more faithfully and effectively together in serving Christ through the Great Commission.”

The article compiles information to provide a profile about the members of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force that was formed in response to the vote of messengers to the SBC's annual meeting in Louisville. Church data is taken from the SBC's 2008 Annual Church Profile. As I read the article I was thrilled by the expertise and blessing of God that these members have enjoyed. In this reading it occurred to me that an analysis of the profile of the churches represented might be enlightening. Therefore, I took the information as it was presented in the article and placed it on a spreadsheet. Several things are identifiable from this process.

The twenty-three members of the task force come from twenty local churches. Three churches; Idlewild Baptist Church, Lutz, Florida, First Baptist Church Woodstock, Georgia, and First Baptist Church Springdale, Arkansas each have two members. This means that 26.08% of the committee comes from three churches.

It is generally recognized that a church averaging 2,000 plus in attendance is considered a “mega-church.” Twelve or 60% of the churches comes from churches classified as “mega-churches.” This represents fifteen or 65.2% of the members of the task force.

In evangelism task force churches averaged baptizing 220.6 people in the 2008 report. The ratio of baptism to worship attendance was 1 baptism for each 14.12 in worship attendance. This is far better than the average Southern Baptist Church nationwide.

In stewardship task force churches averaged Cooperative Program giving of $262,385.00 or 3.78% of their undesignated receipts. Further, they gave in total to all missions’ causes an average of $1,289,431.00 or 12.49% of their total income. Six of the churches did not report any gift to the Annie Armstrong North American Mission Offering, three of the churches did not report any gift to the Lottie Moon International Mission Offering, three of the churches did not report any income either total or undesignated, and two of the churches reported no total gifts to all mission causes. This record of cooperative giving does not stack up as well to the average Southern Baptist Church nationwide.

The breakdown of task force members includes; two seminary presidents, one college president, thirteen pastors and staff, one layman, two women, and four denominational executives.

Since I am from Florida I noted that there are five Floridians on the task force, representing four churches. These Florida churches baptized an average of 193.25 people in 2008 and gave an average of 10.8% of their undesignated receipts through the Cooperative Program. While the average number baptized was slightly lower than the average for the task force, the average gifts through the Cooperative Program was significantly higher than the average for the task force. Both numbers are significantly higher than the average Southern Baptist church nationwide. These churches are very representative of the heart of Florida Baptists, emphasizing both local church evangelism and a heart to work cooperatively to reach the world with the gospel.

There are other observations to be made; however, these seem most pertinent to the work of the task force. I trust that this analysis of the information in the Baptist Press article will assist you in praying for the work of the Great Commission Task Force. I believe in the work being done by this task force. I am firmly persuaded that as Southern Baptists we must to be more effective in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. God give us a Great Commission resurgence that begins in our local churches, spreads to our local associations, impacts our state conventions, and reaches the ends of the earth. Our Savior in heaven commands it and a lost and dying world waits for it.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

"Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing?"
~ William Carey

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Atheist Calls for Soul Winning

Yesterday my good friend Randy Alonso sent me the link below. It is a monologue from Penn Jillette of the renowned comedy team Penn and Teller. The video is 4 minutes and 55 seconds long. It is well worth hearing every word.

Click on this link

God grant us a like understanding and a passion to match our understanding.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world.”
~ Charles Dickens

Friday, August 7, 2009

Will Rogers Quotes

Allow me to share some timeless wisdom from Native American Indian, Will Rogers.

"Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what's going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?"

"Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for."

"Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock."

"Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it."

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

"I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat."

"Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip."

"Nothing you can't spell will ever work."

"On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does."

"Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators."

"The best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. He can't ask his patients what is the matter-he's got to just know."

"There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators."

"There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."

"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer."

"We are all here for a spell; get all the good laughs you can."

"We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by."

"Rumor travels faster, but it don't stay put as long as truth."

"There is only one thing that can kill the Movies, and that is education."

"The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that's out always looks the best."

This kind of wisdom guided us through the first half of the 20th century. God grant that we regain it.

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

"Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life."
~ Henry L. Doherty

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Misplaced Priorities

This morning I read an article titled, U.S. Calls Summit on Texting While Driving, on This article portrays the concern of a group of our lawmakers and our president about the practice of "texting" while driving. While I agree that it is dangerous to “text” while you drive, does this require a summit of experts to realize the inherent dangers involved in “texting” while driving?

This is but one more example of a government with misplaced priorities. They desire to develop laws against “texting” while our nation allows the legalized murder of unborn infants, now numbering in the millions. We call a summit concerned about “texting” while we debate legislation that calls for everyone 65 and older to attend “end of life counseling” (a first step to legalized euthanasia). We conduct dialogue about “texting” while our national debt is rising exponentially seemingly with no concern to reduce it. We create news concerning “texting” while we pay lip service to addressing the problems of crime, drugs, and alcohol in our nation.

We have for far too long accepted symbolism over substance from our political leaders. Our nation has real problems and needs serious leaders who will tackle those problems with a concern for their constituents that exceeds their concern for another photo op or bump in the polls. To quote a famous radio personality, “WAKE UP AMERICA!”

Attempting to connect the dots…

Romans 1:16

“I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.”
~ Everett Dirksen

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