Monthly Archives: December 2010


Several weeks ago, in preparations for teaching, I had what I can only call a “God moment”. (A moment when God “voice” seems so clear you can almost hear it.) The message I was preparing to teach was on FORGIVENESS. I have taught on it a hundred times before and thought I had covered it pretty well with subheadings like… “Receiving Forgiveness from God”, “Forgiving Yourself”, “Forgiving Others”, “What is Forgiveness?”, “Consequences of Holding a Grudge”, etc… pretty cleaver I suppose.

Then I believe that God showed me something about myself that I had really never thought about (much less written about) …. Drumroll….. wait for it……… here it is…… I needed to “FORGIVE HIM”. Yep… a crummy little person, needed to “forgive” an infinitely holy omnipotent God!

I know, I know, I know… there is a ridiculous theological chasm that must be crossed to even put forth this idea…. BUT apart from the obvious problems associated with the idea of “forgiving God”, isn’t this where most of us live? …. In our narcissistic bubble we get offended by how God chooses to “work out His salvation in our lives”? (Phil 2:12)

  • Bad boss? (How could God allow…)
  • Money issues? (If God would bless me more…)
  • Illness? (clearly God’s fault)
  • Loss of loved one? (God…)
  • Dead end Job? (Why won’t God act on my behalf?)
  • Others getting what you think you deserve? (They don’t even deserve it…but I do!)
  • God could change all of that so why won’t He? (Well…..?)

I had “forgiven” everyone else of “any and all” malice that I had “suffered” at their hands…… but I continued to hold a “grudge” against God because of how He is “conforming me to the image of Christ”. Not a big enough grudge to end my relationship with him (in fact I did not even see it for a few minutes while God “peeled back” layer after layer of denial and excuses) but big enough to keep a little unhealthy fear in the mix.

Here are some of the tools He used so that I could “forgive God”.

1. Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

2. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

3. 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

4. Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Get it?


Posted by on December 14, 2010 in Devotional Thoughts


The Christian Life is Supposed to be Messy! (Repost from 11/24/09)

Things Nobody Told Me About My Faith  #10

I became a Christian in 8th grade after a Dawson McAllister “Walk to the Cross” Conference. Dawson took a lot of time to explain the life of a Christian was designed to be one of exciting faith and trust in an Almighty God.  It was to be a life filled with challenges, adversity, victory, defeat and most of all “a life worth living!”.

Needless to say I was pretty “pumped” about beginning my life with Jesus.   But after a while I began to see that many of the folks that said they love Jesus, were neither exciting nor offered much challenge. In fact the goal for many of them seemed to be safety, comfort and control! The pursuit of the “Leave it To Beaver” life!

I see this quality in many men as they sit in my office and have boiled their faith down to a simple list of “do’s and don’ts”, niceties that neither satisfy or inspire.  They are neutered and many believe that is how God intended. While I am not a huge fan of John Eldredge’s theology but he was right in his book “Wild at Heart” when he proposes that men (and women) were born and re-born for more than “behaving well”.

Starting off at #10.


Christians are called to:

  • confront a brother in their sin (Matt 18)
  • care for widows and orphans (Acts 6, James 1, 1 timothy 5)
  • visit the imprisoned (Acts)
  • apologize for offenses to others (Matt 5)
  • stand alone when no one else will (2 Tim)
  • turn the other cheek when we want nothing more than to fight back (Matt 5, Luke 6)
  • forgive those who have offended us (Entire New Testament)
  • suffer for the cause of Christ (2 Cor.1, 2 Tim 2)
  • submit to authority (both good and bad)  (2 Peter)
  • be “salt and light” (Matt 5)
  • look at people with compassion (Eph. 4, Col. 3)
  • Etc….

I am not sure how a person does any of the above mentioned things without getting their hands dirty.

Far from being called to a “Leave it to Beaver” life of propriety and safety, God calls Christians to an exciting and dangerous life making an impact in the world that desperately needs Him.

Illustration: I was standing in line at a church cookout several years ago when one of the my friends in line picked out a diet 7Up can from the ice chest full of soft drinks. The can was silver and the afternoon sun reflected off of it brilliantly. I did not think much about it until she made a clever comment about the how it looked like a Coors Light can (only funny to Baptists). It was almost as if she had used profanity as the group within earshot got a little bit tense.

Then the “ringleader” of the other women said abruptly,”I would not know what a Coors Light can that looks like!”

Implying that the fact that my friend even knew what a Coors Light looked like showed a lack of purity and devotion to the Lord. (are we in Junior high or what?)

In my mind I thought how silly it was that the “ringleader” felt compelled to belittle my friend… especially given the fact that her husband has no problem having a beer with his meals. While I cannot speak to this woman’s heart, her actions illustrate what many folks believe is the chief end of their faith; to be separate from the world… or at least to appear that way.  She seemed to take pride in being ignorant about the culture that surrounds her….or worse, she had buried her head so far in the Bible that she was of little use outside the walls of the church. (harsh)

I’m pretty sure that was not the approach that Jesus took:

Jesus spent time with women, prostitutes,tax collectors, thieves, and yes even religious hypocrites. He did not separate himself from the world he came to save.  (of course at times He did for reflection and rest) We see throughout the Gospels how Jesus views people who have no hope….. with compassion and involvement in their lives. (Matt 9,14,26,  Luke 10,14, 15,  Hebrews 10:34, James 2…..more)

As I have grown up a little bit in my Faith I have found so much freedom in worrying less about how I look to my brothers and sisters in Christ and more about how I can reach people that do not yet know my Savior.

from The Bible Study Series, “Things They Did Not Tell Me About My Faith” – Hixon Frank 2007


The FBC Staff (For FBC Folks only) Best of repost…

The following post was written at beginning of 2010. We had just wrapped up our staff retreat and prepared to head home. My “wow” moment came when I looked around the room at the staff assembled.(and am blessed enough to be a part of). While Ben and Zack are not on staff with us anymore, Justin and Brady had their babies (so to speak) and Karen did indeed move with her family to the Metroplex… my sentiments remain exactly as they were 11 months ago….

January 15, 2010

I could not have been more proud to be part of the staff at First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls than I was this morning. As we wrapped up our staff retreat I looked around the room an was struck by the following thoughts…

Your staff is…..

VISIONARY – Our church was established about 130 years ago. In that time God has done amazing things. It seems that He has chosen to continue doing something special with us. He is allowing significant growth in attendance, depth and reach. As Pastor Bob mentioned last Sunday, we are exploring when to add an additional service, how best to help other churches in the area fulfill the great commission, and how to “wrap our arms around the community”.  Ya just don’t see that very often in a “big, old, downtown, Southern Baptist church”!

COMPETENT – every staff member personally reaches people for Christ. They also know how to recruit, train and motivate hundreds of volunteers to carry out ministry on a large-scale. To be on this staff you have to be able to do both.

UNIFIED – We are a very diverse staff. Chief has been at the church for 40+ years….Zack for 5 months.( Brandon Self, Associate Youth Pastor, stepped up after Zack’s departure and played a major role in revitalizing the Student Ministry in addition to serving as interim worship leader in the contemporary service) Sherrie is detailed and cautious (good thing too because she leads the children), Mike is outgoing and willing to take risks.  Karen (who leaves in May with her husbands transfer) has raised three awesome kids (Denise Roberts stepped in and continued the Preschool Ministry with the same high quality and excellence that Karen did… she even gave it a “tweek here and there” ) … Justin has their first child on the way. ( Lila-Kate is ridiculously cute and just started walking)  Rod is missions minded.  Brady is bent towards discipleship. (Drake was born a few weeks ago and mom and baby are doing great!) Lowell  is a “systems guy”.  Ben a worshipper…. etc. Under Bob’s leadership, we all prayed, laughed and dreamed …. “in one accord”.

MATURE – In the midst of “spirited debate” they show class and grace towards each other. Maturity is independent of age!

TOUGH – They have been tested by the demands of ministry. Many have faced criticism, doubters, loneliness, disappointment, unrealistic expectations, disillusionment, etc….All have been found faithful.  They are a tough bunch but have a soft heart for Jesus and His people.

Most importantly…THEY LOVE JESUS!   Man,  I wish you could have been at our prayer time this morning!  Humble, deep, seeking after God. No “professional Christians” in the room. Just folks that LOVE THE LORD!

Just wanted you to know!

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Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Family, Leadership


“Faking It” Will Kill Your Faith

Over the years I have seen some Christians “walk away” from their faith.

  • Some walked away because God did not “ZAP” their problems away but instead actually asked them to put forth some effort. They walked away and said, “God won’t help me”
  • Some found God to be uncontrollable. When He did not do their bidding, the way they thought He should. They walked away and said, “God doesn’t work”
  • Some had only learned a bunch of rules and found that mere “rules of life” were far too hollow to address the complex issues they were facing.  They RAN away and said, “God is too strict”

But probably the main reason I have seen people walk away from their faith (or at the very least put it “on the back shelf”) has to do with the following principle…


Hypocrisy (a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess) is killing us. I’m talking about the willful pretending that comes with learning how to “act like a Christian” and being able to speak “church-ese”.
These folks “met” Jesus and then, for whatever reason, started “acting like Christians”… instead of living for Jesus. Over time, they found their faith had become a “game to win” and their sins became toys to hide from others. Rather than their faith being an adventure to be lived and their sins “landmines” to avoid. They walked away and said “my faith is just a game”.

I believe that any Christian who pretends for a long period of time is in danger of “just walking away”.   Dads, Moms, sons, daughters, pastors, Life Group Leaders etc…. all of us can pretend if we are not careful.

EVERY TIME we “fake it” in our faith we are driving a nail in our spiritual coffin. It creates in us all kinds of nasty traits like: deception, cynicism, sarcasm, mistrust, callousness, judgmentalism, envy, jealousy, disingenuousness, strife, selfishness…… but wait… there is more… these produce in us fear, anger, frustration, disillusionment  etc….and ultimately we just walk away like the rest.

Don’t agree?  Examine your own life… in those times that you were willfully hypocritical (and we all have been once or twice) what did it produce in you? Ya see?

The ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM is pretty simple…”treat God like God” and not like your grandfather, waiter, crazy Uncle Lou  or trained dog.   See Him for who He is….REAL, CLOSE, ENGAGED, ABLE, FIERCE, CARING, STRONG… and CRAZY ABOUT YOU!  No need to pretend (fear of man) and no need to hide (pride)

ref. Phil. 1:6, 2:6, 1 John 2:5, John 3:16,

(excerpt from “Things They Did Not Tell Me About My Faith” – Hixon Frank 2007)


Wingmen Fall “Re-Cap”

As promised, here are the notes from November 17, 2010 Fall Wrap-Up of Wingmen Men’s Ministry at FBC in Wichita Falls. We kickoff again in January with our “DEEP IMPACT” SERIES.  (underlined and capitalized words were left blank during the message)  These are the main ideas behind each week’s lesson… enjoy!


8/25   Week #1   “Dear Lord Destroy Me  (10 Qualities of a Man)

Isaiah 6:  God is usually bigger, holier, more fierce, gentler, and more aware than most of us UNDERSTAND

9/1     Week #2   “You Are NOT the Boss of Me”  (Authority)

 A man must understand and submit to the authority OVER him before he can understand and effectively wield the authority GIVEN him.

9/8     Week #3   “The Trouble with Men and Marriage

Everything in the home PIVOTS off of the man…if it doesn’t… then how can a man LEAD his family well. A man must be the servant-leader in his home.

9/15   Week #4   This Changes Everything (Forgiveness)

Forgiving others is THE MARK of a genuine faith in Christ. “Forgive as the Lord Forgave you”. Col. 3:13(c).

9/22   Week #5   A Father’s Gift(s) To His Family

A father holds the power to BLESS or CURSE his family…which will you choose?    2 Timothy 1  Paul Blesses Timothy

9/29   Week #6   Making Jesus Lord of My Home (J. Turner)

The husband and wife raise their family in a home where Jesus Christ is the FOCUS and MAIN  IDEA in the home.

 10/6  Week #7    Reminders from the “POINTMAN”

When the Enemy wants to DESTROY the home He focuses on the MAN!

10/13 Week #8   “GOD, LOVE, SEX”

God made SEX to unite a HUSBAND and WIFE together. It is one of the KEY ways He intends to increase protection, commitment, fulfillment in the marriage relationship. (oh yea, and of course “monkey love”)  Genesis 2:24, I Corinthians 7:2,5

10/20 Week #9   Lessons from a Fallen King, Pt.1

David would have NEVER given more than a FLEETING THOUGHT to Bathsheba had he understood the SHATTERING RESULTS of his sin.  2 Samuel 11

10/ 27 Week #10          Lessons from a Fallen King, Pt. 2

A man must get to the place in his fight with sin that he declares “THAT IS ALL I CAN STAND, I CAN’T STAND NO MORE!!!!!   Establish HEDGES before you are ever in the situation.

11/3   Week #11 Learning to Lead Like Jesus (Pastor Bob)

We copy a lot of good leaders…. It is time we learned from the BEST!

11/10 Week #12 He Said/She Said (Questions from Women)

We must live with our wives in “AN UNDERSTANDING WAY ”   1 Peter 7:7

11/17 Week #13 The Great Divide        

The greater the GAP in who we are PUBLICLY and who we are PRIVATELY, the greater the chance that we will FALLl.  (2 Tim. 3:5)