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A Word From the Pastor

Posted: July 15th, 2015

Musings from Study Leave

As most of you know, I am on Study Leave this month. In fact, this week I am in Waco studying at the Moody Library. Baylor has been gracious enough to allow me the use of a small office for my studies this week. Here is my view from in front of the Library:

Here are a few things I have been reflecting on while I have been away studying and planning:

DIVERSITY – The first Sunday in July, Cindy and I attended a vibrant Episcopalian church in Dallas for worship. It was a very contemplative experience reflective of the High Church tradition of the Anglican Church. Obviously, we were guided by the Book of Common Prayer in the liturgy. The second Sunday in July, we attended a local Assembly of God church. Needless to say, it was quite a contrast in style!

Being out of the pulpit in July allows me the opportunity to visit other churches and learn. It also allows me the opportunity to personally experience a taste of the rich diversity of the Christian family. God is a big God and His people are a broad and diverse lot!

UNITY – As I have walked the aisles of the Moody Library here at Baylor and walked across the campus, I have been reminded of how much unity there is in the Baptist family. Although Texas Baptists are a diverse lot as well, we have come together in unity to accomplish some really good things for the Kingdom’s sake. Our cooperative spirit is what has made places like Baylor a reality. Across our state, there are numerous institutions in existence as evidences of this cooperative spirit. Certainly together we can accomplish more than we ever will alone. I have been blessed by this tangible reminder of the good and noble efforts of Texas Baptists.

Of course, the Baptist spirit of cooperation transcends our state. Baptists from across the world are gathering in South Africa for the Baptist World Alliance meeting. This meeting only occurs once every five years. Due to some pastoral and personal commitments, Cindy and I will be unable to attend this years’ Congress. However, we will be praying for our Baptist brothers and sisters as they gather to celebrate and plan.

QUIET – I’m known for many things – being quiet is not one of them! However, I always enjoy the quiet nature of my times of reflection and prayer. I am seated even now in the small office, tucked away on the second floor of the Library. All is quiet around me. It has been quite refreshing to sit and ponder in the quiet of this space.

GENERATIONS – I have had a handful of conversations while I have been here in Waco. I have talked briefly with a couple of students, faculty members and administration leaders here. The generational mix is quite apparent on a college campus. Multiple generations interact on a campus as their lives intersect naturally in a place like this. I have been reminded of just how natural this should be in the church. I am so glad our church is a multi-generational family of believers. There is strength and blessing in the integration of generations.

JOY – There is great joy in my heart. I am truly glad to be your Pastor. I am filled with joy as I reflect on all God has done in the life of our church. This month is my 14th anniversary as the Pastor of FBC Arlington. It continues to be such an enriching time in my life. I have been particularly joyful as I have been planning our future together. I am excited about what God has in store for us in the days ahead. 

With great love for Jesus and for you,