*This is a rebranding of Dr. Terry’s popular “Scatter Shooting” series.
Wondering, while writing this, why there was a garbage truck (toy) in my bed this morning.
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read—“Former Baby on Board.” I need one of those.
Recently, I received an invitation to an informational luncheon on cremation. I thought, “Do they want me to schedule my cremation?” That invitation prompted me to think about cremation. My mother died while I was serving overseas as a missionary. When I returned for my mother’s funeral, my sisters told me they had her body cremated. That surprised me, but I was not upset. We had a memorial service at her church. Several folks have asked me what I believe about cremation. I believe lots of families are choosing cremation because it is less expensive. I can’t think of a Bible verse or passage that applies to cremation. What is your opinion on cremation? Do you have biblical references that have guided your thinking?
Junior Hill, a long-time evangelist, died on January 3rd, or at least that was when the news was released. He spent most of his life as a traveling evangelist. I did not know him personally, but I knew of him, of course. When I taught at Mid-America Baptist Seminary, my wife and I were members at Bellevue Baptist Church. One Sunday, we had Harvest Sunday, which was like a one-day evangelistic meeting. Junior Hill came to preach. This was 7 or 8 years ago. Junior hobbled to the pulpit and preached a short (18-minute) and simple topical sermon on why a person should profess faith in Christ. Then, in a matter-of-fact voice, said, “If you want to profess faith in Christ, come forward now.” People streamed down the aisles. So many responded that the pastor called for more counselors to go to the Counseling Room. Next, Junior said, “You need to be baptized. If you are a believer but have not been baptized, you come now. Again, many more came forward. Then, he stated, “You need to get your baptism on the right side of your salvation.” He explained what he meant by that, and many more went forward. Finally, he declared, “You need to be a member of a Bible-believing church. This is one, and God may be calling you to join this church. If that’s true for you, you come forward.” As before, lots of people responded. His invitation could hardly have been more low-key. He did not exhort the people or press them in any way. I left the church that day thinking two things. First, that man has the gift of evangelism. Second, he was prayed up. I thank the Lord for Brother Junior’s life and ministry.
My daughter and her two children live with us. Avenley is 13, and little Charlie is 3. At meal times we always say grace before we eat. Again and again, Charlie announced, “I did not pray.” I feared he was showing heathenish tendencies. Finally, I asked him why he refused to join our mealtime prayer. He answered, “You don’t pray the right prayer.” I replied, “Well, what is the right prayer?” He said, “At school (the preschool at FBC Keller, Texas) we say, ‘God is great; God is good. Let us thank Him for our friends and food.’” When we switched to this prayer, he joined in enthusiastically. That made me think. How many of our church members refuse to participate because we don’t do things in a particular way? Some years ago, my family belonged to Hurstbourne Baptist Church in Louisville. We had a big auditorium, but our educational space was limited. Rather than build another building, our staff and church council recommended that we have two Sunday school periods with worship in between. That meant we would have a Sunday school at 8:30 and another at 11:00. Our worship service would shift from 11:00 to 9:45. I thought this was a good solution to our space problem. We doubled our space at no cost. Not everyone agreed with this. In our church business meeting, one member stated forcefully that, “Eleven o’clock is the holy hour, and we should worship at 11:00.” In the end, the church voted overwhelmingly to adopt the church council’s plan. At that, three families left the church.
Dr. Danny Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Seminary, retweeted this from LifeNews.com: Abortion was the leading cause of death worldwide in 2023. Last year 73 million babies were killed by abortionists. Let’s resolve to bring this abominable practice to a swift end.
I’ll close with another Bellevue Baptist Church story. I heard Joyce Rogers, Adrian Rogers’ widow, tell this. Every year Bellevue sponsors a big 4th of July picnic. One year, a mother brought her little daughter to the picnic. The girl spotted Adrian Rogers and said, “Look, Mommy, there is Jesus!” Her mother responded, “Honey, that’s not Jesus; that’s Dr. Rogers, our pastor. What makes you think he’s Jesus?” The little girl answered, “Every Sunday morning he stands at the front and says, ‘Come to Jesus.’” Let’s all resolve to be like Adrian Rogers and invite people to “come to Jesus.”
You’ve probably guessed that the garbage truck was placed in my bed by Charlie, my grandson.