DHD: HBD Billy Graham, Political Pandemonium, Church Security, BGCO Annual Meeting, Philemon, Prisoner-Now-Pastor part 2
Here’s six timely topics for this week’s edition of Doyle’s Half Dozen.
Happy Birthday Billy Graham!
Billy Graham turned 99 on Nov. 7. The legendary preacher and evangelist has had an impact on many people around the world. I know he made quite an impact just in my part of the world. My dad and many of his friends and spiritual mentors were influenced by the Billy Graham Crusade.
Jack Humphreys was one of them. Former Baptist Messenger managing editor Bob Nigh wrote a great story in 2003 about Humphreys and how he got involved with Graham’s ministry. Baptist Press ran the story, “A Life Transformed by 1956 OKC Graham crusade.”
Many professions of faith in Christ were made as a result of that Crusade, and I mean not just at the actual crusade meetings that year. The Humphrey’s story mentions Charlie Riggs and Gene Warr and refers to other Christian businessmen who were Graham’s “lieutenants,” training crusade counselors, as well as helping Christians grow in their faith through discipleship training.
Billy Graham does not have the influence he once did. But he is still revered. LifeWay Research reported Graham is still “one of the best-known preachers in America.” The article reports 48 percent of American churchgoers have watched Graham preach on television. However, 11 percent of those surveyed actually attended one of Graham’s crusades. Four percent did not know who he is.
There’s a lot to conclude from this survey, but one thing is for sure. Over a span of 50-plus years, God used a Baptist preacher from North Carolina to impact the world for Christ, and his legacy continues.
There’s a lot craziness happening in the world of politics and at various levels. In Oklahoma, state legislators can’t agree state budget issues.
Other states held elections, including gubernatorial races, that could affect national perspectives. There’s recent accusations made of Roy Moore who is running for U.S. Senate in Alabama.
I mentioned last week there was a prayer request that came from the state Capitol. Prayers need to continue.
Responding to Sutherland Springs
The shooting at Sutherland Springs, Texas, First made national news, and the nation has responded. I’m encouraged to hear Southern Baptists stepping up to pay for the funerals of the victims.
I won’t address the different political viewpoints of this, but I do believe it is important that churches need to be pro-active and prepared if ever faced with a shooting. I wrote about this last year in my article “Spotlight on security: Churches should take safety precautions for those who attend.”
The article quotes Travis David, who oversees security at my church, and David will be speaking at a breakfast next week that was recently organized. During the Annual Meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, David will address the recent concerns about churches and security.
Speaking of Annual Meeting
Yes, the BGCO is having its annual meeting next week, Nov. 13-14, and there’s a lot that will be happening. The Pastors’ Conference, Missions Celebration, multiple meals and fellowships for different groups, great speakers, Singing Churchmen performing and good times by all Oklahoma Baptists meeting at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs.
One significant event will be an evening reception, honoring Anthony Jordan and his wife Polla, on Monday, Nov. 13 at 8:15 p.m. Dr. Jordan recently announced he will be retiring in May, 2018 as BGCO executive director-treasurer. This will be a great time for many to come and share appreciation for Dr. Jordan’s leadership for almost 22 years with Oklahoma Baptists. Dr. Jordan also will be giving his final address as executive director-treasurer that evening in the opening session of the BGCO meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m.
For more information visit http://annualmeeting.okbaptist.com/
Great Bible study blog
I love studying the Bible, hearing teaching sessions on Scripture and learning more about God’s Word. I love reading blogs, articles and commentaries about the many Bible books. One great gem of a Bible blog was posted by Gospel Coalition’s Justin Taylor about the Book of Philemon, “Uncovering Treasures in Paul’s Shortest Letter.”
I’m curious, have you ever heard a sermon on Philemon? How many Bible Studies have you attended that covered Philemon? Personally, I’m not sure what’s referenced less among New Testament books, Philemon or 3 John.
But I am familiar with the story involving Paul’s letter to Philemon, and it’s a powerful one of reconciliation. And in Taylor’s blog, he points out another “tucked away” demonstration of reconciliation.
‘Pardoned to proclaim’ part 2
I wrote about Jason Jones a couple of weeks ago in my article “Pardoned to proclaim.” The former prisoner-now-pastor made the news on a Tulsa TV station.
Check out “Murderer to minister: How one man is using his checkered past to change lives” on KTUL’s website and hear him and Pastor Rusty Gunn of Sand Springs, Church That Matters talk about what God has done and continues to do in Jones’ life.
Just heard John MacArthur last week preaching on Philemon. Referenced the beauty and blessing of forgiveness. Indeed! It’s how and what being a Christian is all about. The Wonderful wisdom of God is displayed in the breadth and depth of that which He gave us in Scripture!!