Pastors Blog

Even More Children

Thousands of Kurdish children have joined the millions of children worldwide who are crossing national borders seeking refuge in difficult times. Having neither the desire nor capacity to inflict harm on others, the children join their mothers and others in flight out of harm’s way.   Human communities like those in Syria, trapped in economic and political violence, push their children to the relative safety of the shadows. They end up being uninvited guests in host nations that ...

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Skid Row

We traveled a road that ran along the Rio Grande River between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico.  Fifty years later I can still see the tall, shiny buildings of downtown El Paso glistening in the sun—and the cardboard shacks on the hillside across the river.  I remember the contrast between the two cities and wondered as a boy why a border would make so much difference.   I saw children and adults swimming and washing clothes in the muddy, shallow river. I knew that these ...

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Not the Social Gospel

The Care Effect ministries of First Baptist New Orleans are a product of and a manifestation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But they are not an illustration of the social gospel.   These ministries are an effort to mimic the life and work of Jesus of Nazareth who was powerful in “word and deed” (Luke 24:19) and to follow the instructions of Scripture in devoting ourselves to a life of “love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).   Many Southern Baptist ...

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Baptist Swarm Intelligence

I have found the long-sought secret to the vitality of the Baptist movement. It’s called swarm intelligence, the “collective behavior of decentralized, self-organized systems.”   Heretofore the most useful metaphor for Baptist cooperative work has been the “rope of sand” introduced by James L. Sullivan in his booklet, “Rope of Sand Strength of Steel” in 1974. This metaphor gained prominence in Baptist life and ...

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Messages in November

Two weeks in a hospital waiting room, grandson on a ventilator, surrounded by the prayers of friends, is a life-changing experience.  I am going to the Scripture the next three Sundays to explore these themes: November 10: Surrendered to the Great Commission--the final words of Jesus as he encouraged his disciples to stay faithful and true even to the ends of the earth. November 17: Prayers for the Pain--prayers in the Bible that are offered to God when people are hurting. November 24: ...

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Baby Graham Update

Graham Update By David E. Crosby, Pastor 7:30 p.m., October 14, 2013   Five full days have passed since I got the call that Graham had been involved in a drowning accident and was not breathing. I have moved from my perch at Starbucks overlooking the Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., to a more comfortable position on my couch in the living room.   The people who love us have carried us along through these emotional days—from Kim who hailed the cab in D.C. and ...

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Jesus and the Crowds

All Out: Equipped and Sent Tuesday, Sept. 10 Matthew 9:36: When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus was a Superstar, but he had time for “little people.” In fact, to Jesus all the people about him were important. He saw each one, little or big, influential or obscure.  Not one of them was overlooked by this stranger from Galilee. Every town produced a crowd when Jesus came. He taught ...

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Philippians 4

WEEK TWELVE PHILIPPIANS: Picture Joy Phil 4:2: I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.  Paul is reduced to begging here, not an unfamiliar position for him. He makes his plea to two ladies of some prominence in the church who have been involved in some dispute.  This conflict does not involve heresy. Both of these ladies believe in Jesus and are committed to biblical teaching. This does not involve scandalous sin. Neither has strayed ...

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Picture Joy - Philippians - Daily Devotional Week 6

WEEK SIX PHILIPPIANS: Picture Joy Monday, July 8 Phil 2:2: Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.   Something the Philippians can do will complete Paul’s joy—they can stand united in love and spirit.   I think every parent would say “ditto” to that. We would be so happy if our children and their families would be united in love and spirit. Nothing is so rewarding as harmony among those ...

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Picture Joy - Philippians - Daily Devotional Week 5

WEEK FIVE PHILIPPIANS: Picture Joy Monday, July 1 Phil 1:27: Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.   The only thing that is up in the air in the context of this letter is Paul’s future. He is not sure whether he is going to live or die. Primarily he is telling his friends, “Whatever happens to me…”   The great Apostle does not want the circumstances of his life to discourage or disappoint his fellow ...

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