It’s been an eventful few weeks. The last day of May, I traveled to Long Island for a campaign sponsored by Hope For Life (Herald of Truth), the ministry I work for. We arrived on Saturday. On Sunday, I received word that my mother had fallen in Abilene and broken her hip. I cut short my participation in the campaign and returned to be with her. I got her settled into a physical rehabilitation center, spending two nights with her in the hospital, then two in the rehab place.
The next week, Carolina and I left for a long-planned trip to the Holy Land. My sisters graciously came to be with my mom to allow us to make the trip. I’ll tell you more about that trip in the coming days.
We returned late one Wednesday night, then I left on Saturday to speak at a church in Morro Bay, California, the following day. That Sunday night I took a redeye back home, before leaving on Wednesday for the Summer Celebration at Lipscomb University. Hope For Life hosts a breakfast every year, so I was there for that. I also got to teach a class with Steve Ridgell, as well as doing two classes in Spanish.
So yes, I did get confused more than once as to what time zone I was in. And I’m afraid I had to push this blog to the back burner. I’ll try and do better over the next few days.
What have you been up to?
OK, so the blog has been neglected a bit. And may be neglected some more. Here’s what’s going on:
- Last week was the campaign on Long Island for Hope For Life ministries (Herald of Truth). We had worked for quite a while organizing this campaign, motivating and training the churches to carry out an evangelistic effort. It was great to see the congregations working together in this concerted effort and to see them excited about reaching out.
- I had to leave the campaign early. My mom fell a week ago Sunday and broke her hip. She’s now in a facility for physical rehabilitation.
- Tomorrow, Carolina and I leave on a trip to the Holy Land. A generous, anonymous benefactor offered to pay my way, the Texas International Bible Institute (organizers of the trip) offered Carolina a partial scholarship, and we were able to use air miles and hotel points to defray the rest of the costs. There’s still some expense involved, but it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Special thanks to Hope For Life Ministries for letting me take the time off, to my sisters for coming to be with Mother, and to TIBI and the donor for making this possible.
I’ll definitely post some about the trip, though I’m not sure that will happen during the trip.
As part of my work with Hope For Life/Herald of Truth, I’m developing a new seminar for churches. I’ve been doing the “Christ and Culture” seminar for several years and would like to have something else to offer as well.
I want to do something that will address a need felt by many churches and do it in a practical way. I’ve decided to focus on how to get church members’ focus outside the building in order to get outsiders in. I want to look at analyzing the community in general, the neighborhood around the church, and each member’s immediate neighbors. I plan to talk about how a church can make itself more open and inviting to outsiders. I want to look at the topics of evangelism and discipleship.
What do you think? What topics do you think your congregation would want to see addressed? What items do you yourself see as important?
I’ve got a working title, but would definitely be open to suggestions on that as well.
I’m pleased to announce that A History of Churches of Christ in Cuba is now available. Tony Fernández and I worked on this information over the course of several years, and it’s nice to see it in concrete form.
Any history of the churches in Cuba is going to be incomplete at this point. There are too many stories that can’t be told yet.
I’ll also mention that I made an appeal for information last year at a meeting of people who work in Cuba. Only one person sent me anything. Because of that, I’m sure that some people from here in the States will not have received the mention they would have liked to have. If so, I’ll hope they’ll send me info for the next edition!
Anyway, the book can be purchased from the Herald of Truth website. You can find it on this page: http://www.heraldoftruth.org/resources_books/a-history-of-churches-of-christ-in-cuba
This past Sunday, I was privileged to present a Hope For Life/Herald of Truth presentation at the Yazoo City Church of Christ in Mississippi. I had spoken with the preacher at that church, Trey Henry, about the possibility when I saw him at the Harding Lectures. He was gracious enough to speak with the other church leaders and arrange for the visit.
We think it important to let people know what we are doing in our ministry. That’s why we’re willing to visit churches at no cost to the congregation. If people are going to support us, they need to know what we’re doing with the money they give us. That goes for those who are already supporting and those who are merely considering it.
Hope to get to visit your church sometime!