Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Bible Reading Plans

If you’re looking for ways to read the Bible more this year, here are some great new tools available at They've just launched more than 20 free Bible reading plans, which are available on the website as well as all mobile platforms. If you prefer a printed Bible reading plan and using your own copy of the Bible, our church website has several options.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Some Assembly Required

On this Christmas Eve I have much to be thankful for. One thing I am grateful for is that I don’t have to put any gifts together for Christmas this year. The kids are teenagers now and the gifts require more money but less assembly. I’m willing to make that trade.

Through Christmas past I remember long nights of assembling bicycles. My long tradition of minimal mechanical inclinations and unwillingness to read instructions probably contributed to the stress of those holiday seasons. A few years back, Lauren was into a set of plastic horses. Of course the horses came with dozens of accessories. One of those items was a barn for the horses. Carrying the box almost left me a broken man. As I unpacked the contents to begin Christmas Eve assembly, I found that the only thing I didn’t have to do was cut down the tree for the wooden materials of the barn. Considerable assembly was required. Hours later, it was finished and she was thrilled on Christmas morning.

If we are to really experience the true meaning of Christmas, there is at least one lesson we should remember from those “some assembly required” labels each Christmas. It is this: Follow the instructions and discover the main part. On the first Christmas the Bible says, “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” (Luke 2:15-16, NIV). Follow the instructions – seek after Christ – He is the main part. Have a blessed, Christ-filled Christmas.

What Part of the Body Are You?

I enjoy listening to and reading Francis Chan, a gifted California pastor. I would encourage believers to read his book Crazy Love as well as Forgotten God. This is a one minute video from one his sermons that makes me laugh.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Am So Proud of Our Church...

First Baptist Church of Allen has wonderful ministries throughout the week on our campus. What is sometimes forgotten is how much ministry reaches out into our community and beyond week to week. This year, almost a half million dollars went to mission work around the world. In addition, over 200 children were sponsored this year by our church members through World Vision. We gave to a special offering and purchased thousands of Bibles through the ministry of the Gideons International. This list barely scratches the surface. Other ministries included strong support of Real Options for Women - our local crisis pregnancy ministry and the Samaritan Inn - our Collin County homeless shelter.

Our We Care Ministry is the umbrella name for our caring ministries in our community. This year through our We Care and holiday season ministries, I wanted to celebrate some totals:

  • We Care YTD has served 122 families paying out $38,810 for rent, utilities, insurance, and medical bills.

  • The Food Pantry is serving about 70 families (about 300 people) per month

  • Angel Tree assisted 60 families with over 500 gifts

  • Food Baskets given for Thanksgiving and Christmas was over 200

We are blessed by God to be a blessing. Thank you First Baptist Church for these ministries and for all the things you do individually and as Bible Fellowship Groups throughout the year!

Don’t Sink Your Success by Ignoring Relationships

I read an interesting article from LeadershipWired this week that speaks well to the value of relationships. John Paul Jones is regarded as The Father of the American Navy, and rightly so given his heroic courage in battle and his devotion to America's struggle for independence. Yet sadly, Jones alienated himself from the country he loved, dying penniless and alone in France at the age of 45. Why did the war hero's story end so dismally? The answer is simple: John Paul Jones never valued relationships.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Christmas Carol - Cliff Notes Version

For those who may not have time in this busy season to watch one of the many incarnations of "A Christmas Carol"'s a 90 second musical version to help you catch up on your Christmas to-do list.

Making Bible Reading Meaningful

James MacDonald has penned a good article with advice on how to benefit from reading the Bible.

Tiger Woods - Lessons Not To Be Missed

Al Mohler has written an interesting article on the Tiger Woods saga with some insightful comments.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Are You Dangerously Tired?

The Christmas season is a busy time for many of us. Seasonal activities are added on to already full schedules. Even during more "normal" times of year the most common description people give of their lives seems to be "busy." Are you too busy? Dangerously busy?

I would encourage you to read this article. It is filled with simple questions to help evaluate whether we may be spinning out of control while living at the speed of life. How do you know whether it's time to simplify?