eChallenge for September 2017

I found an article that says it is possible to unlock an iPhone or iPad with your nose. This comes in handy when your hands are full, dirty, or tied behind your back after seizure by pirates. If your gift of forethought led you to find a MacGuyver-style workaround in case of emergency, your nose print will unlock your ability to hit the emergency call button. How cool is that?

(Please have someone video your attempts to set your nose print as your unlock code. You could become a YouTube sensation.)

Another article says a dog's nose print can be used to prove its identity like a fingerprint can prove a human's identity. I am sure this is important information for some reason on some occasion.

Until yesterday, I had one distinguishing feature about my nose that has been in place since I was seventeen years old. It was then when I developed a second case of chickenpox. I had a mild case years before. I had the full-blown, extra-itchy kind the second time around. Apparently, this makes me more vulnerable to Shingles someday. Yay. More shots to prevent another problem.

I hate needles.

The indentation left by a malicious pox now has company. The new feature overwhelms the former. Skin cancer required removal of a couple of layers of the other side of my nose. The nurse helpfully took photos and offered to show them to me before the reconstruction began. I passed on the opportunity.

My bride's reaction was an encouraging and affirming look of alarm accompanied by a sound that is hard to type but easy to understand.

It was not good.

The doctor and his team cut and spliced, nipped and tucked until he said triumphantly, "There! All done!" More photos. More wifely moments of forced smiles and encouragement.

My love language is words of affirmation according to Dr. Gary Chapman in his best-seller
The Five Love Languages . It took a while to hear what I was listening for yesterday. Today, it got worse.

The bandages came off after the required twenty-four-hour wait. My wife is now an expert in sounds that accompany the word "yuck." I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. That was enough. My bride had to call in a neighbor who is a medical professional and loves this kind of stuff. It took the two of them a half hour to clean my wound and reapply ointment and bandages.

I cannot sleep with my CPAP breathing apparatus because it will not fit over my bandages and around the painful area. Ollie the Border Collie reclined at my feet as I slept sitting up last night. On the other hand, my bride had her best night's sleep in quite a while. So there's that.

There is a moral to this story beyond my new commandment, "Thou shalt use sunscreen daily! And reapply often!" It is this: My nose print can no longer open my iPhone.

Keep your nose clean,
In This Issue
Article Headline
A Thank You!
Upcoming Trainings and Retreats
Weekly Blogs
Psalm 97:10
Book of the Month
Pastoral Succession
Trust and Obey
Discipleship Journey for Pastors and Staff
21st Century Wilberforce Initiative - Speak Freedom
Volunteer Interim Pastors in England Needed
Revive This Nation 2018
Opportunity for Volunteer Interim Pastors in England
TAGS Faith Based Bridge
Celebrate Pastor's Recovery
Upcoming Training Schedule & Info. for New Church Partners & Volunteers
BGCT Upcoming Events
News from Churches
Hurricane Harvey Relief


  • Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief training on Saturday, September 30
    Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield from 9 AM until noon
    • Intro to history of TBM
    • Health and Safety
    • Spiritual readiness
    • What to take
    • What to expect (do's & dont's)
    • Structure of DR
    • Areas to serve
    • You must register online at -- Click on Events. Find training and click on the one you want to attend. Also, a background check must be submitted at that time. The cost is $40 and includes background fee ID badge and lanyard.
  • Union Association provided this link as an option for service --
  • John Thielepape put together a document that is hard to top so we are including it  here.  
  • BOUNCE 2017 - Harvey Affected Areas -- Bounce has revised their 2018 ministry schedule to assist in recovery efforts in Harvey affected areas. Click here for more information.
  • Great Commission Baptist Church has been designated as a drop off place for the items needed and possibly a place to house evacuees, if there is a need.
  • Tryon-Evergreen Association church message board related to disaster relief --
  • Trusted World is in desperate need of volunteers to help unload cars and sort through the donations.
  • Update from John Hooser (9/11/2017) - The Red Cross is moving out of Victoria to consolidate feeding needs to Corpus. The TBA DRT will continue to provide meals for chainsaw and tarp teams who are assisting those in the Victoria area.
  • Here is information on ways people can be involved through Travis Avenue Baptist Church -- 

A Thank You to YOU!

Thank You, Tarrant Baptists

Pastor Terry Colley serves as a Victim Relief Chaplain in Rockport.


You have been amazing. Many of you have purchased and gathered supplies to send to our Texas family affected by Hurricane Harvey. Some of you have traveled south taking your boats to rescue those in need. Some have gone with tools and cleaning supplies to assist families in removing ruined furniture, walls, floors and cabinets. Others have gone to provide counsel and prayers to those who are grieving loss.


Some of you have served those who have found refuge here in our area by providing
clothes, school supplies, diapers, meals and housing.


Above Eaglesview Church loads a semi. Travis Avenue, Southcliff, FBC Hurst, the Hispanic Fellowship and numerous others have sent supplies sou

We are so proud of you. Our work isn't finished. Our brothers and sister in South Texas will need help for several years. Many families are displaced. Many churches are also displaced with little or no insurance. Please pray and ask the Lord to guide your continued efforts.


Together, we can make a difference!

Above Normandale is ready for demolition. Many other churches including Southcliff, Travis Avenue and numerous others are on site working.


Tarrant Disaster Relief Team in Victoria
Tarrant DRT Serves In Victoria

The Tarrant Baptist Association Disaster Relief Team has been serving in Victoria, Texas since Hurricane Harvey hit South Texas. Crews of men and women have provided up to 20,000 meals some days for Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) to deliver food to folks trying to survive after the storm hit.

Just this week the numbers have dropped as the Red Cross has moved the volume feeding to Corpus Christi. Now the Tarrant Disaster Relief Team is feeding the hundreds of workers who are using chain saws to clear debris and those who are placing blue tarps over damaged roofs in the area.

Pastor John Hooser, TBA Disaster Relief Team Director gave a report Monday at the Tarrant Pastor's Conference after having just returned from Victoria. Hooser said the damage is massive. Help will be needed for a long time.
Upcoming  Training  and Retreats
  Upcoming Trainings and Retreats

re:FOCUS Retreat
October 8-10, 2017
Riverbend Retreat Center

Hearing God Retreat
October 26-27, 2017
Riverbend Retreat Center

Church Consultant Training
November 1-3, 2017
Texas Baptist Office 
7557 Rambler Road #1200
Dallas, Texas 75231

Our Weekly Blogs!
Blogs go out every Thursday

Daily Devotional - Psalm 97:10
The following is from a daily devotional I write for family and friends. This verse came up during my daily Bible reading recently. It perfectly addresses the core issue we face as a nation today. We cannot truthfully say we love God and hate people of other races. That is not an option that is open to us. Our Father in heaven created the wonderful variety of people groups in this world. He loves each and every person and wants us to extend his love to all people everywhere. Racism is never an option for anyone who claims to belong to Jesus.

Psalm 97:10  
You who love the LORD, hate evil! (CSB)

Here's an often overlooked verse. It forms a nice axiom: Love God; hate evil.

This is not a general truth like a proverb. This is a self-evident truth. If Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were here now, they would nod their assent. Some truth statements are so true that there is no wiggle room. This is one of them. Where do you think they got that idea that, "all men are created equal" (or equally, as Adams preferred)? What ideal do you think led to the abolitionist movements in England and the USA?

We cannot simultaneously love God and evil. God is the giver of all good things. Evil destroys good things, including people. Evil pays homage to and longs for the good old days when a dictator murdered millions in a quest for racial purity and world domination. Love extends the rule of our Father in heaven, the most beneficent and compassionate being in the universe, who loves all people everywhere and wants us to do the same. Evil creates barriers behind which minds twisted by evil launch missiles of words, and worse. God breaks down dividing walls and creates peace (Eph. 2:11-22). Evil drives powerful engines over helpless pedestrians. God heals the hurting and comforts the grieving.

A little evil is a little hate. It has the multiplicative power of yeast and cancer. Remove it immediately before it does further damage. It is the most loving and God-like thing we can do for ourselves.

Love God; hate evil is more than a motto. It is an axiomatic truth that resists the destructive intentions of the evil one and amplifies the life-giving love of our Father in heaven. His children are known by their love and kindness, by their truthful and life-affirming ways. May we live as children of light with no shadows of darkness at all.

I will love God and hate evil.

Our Father, fill my life so much with your loving presence, peace, and power that there is no room for the darkness of evil. Remove any remnants of that cancer from my life. I will love what you love and hate what you hate. You love everyone and want all people to come to you in repentance and faith. You want everyone to experience your peace and purpose. That is what I want too. Amen.
App of the Month
My bride and I have shared several apps the last few years in an attempt to coordinate our grocery shopping lists. The theory was that we would have one list that we each could add to and check off when we picked up the necessary items. None of the apps was a perfect fit.

Our son recently discovered and recommended the app. It is the perfect answer for what we need. You will likely enjoy it as well if you share the shopping load with your spouse or roommate.

Download the app and sign in with the same credentials. You can use Facebook or Google accounts to sign in, however, you must share the same account to do so. We chose to use a secondary email account of mine on each of our iPhones.

The app invites you to add your local grocery stores which it shops for specials. You can find recipes for different dishes and add the necessary ingredients to your shopping list with one click. Items you check off show up at the bottom of your list with a check mark that you can uncheck to add to your list again.

There is much more that this app and its accompanying website provide. Check it out and relieve yourself of a little bit of frustration while adding to your productivity.
Book of the Month
I am supposed to be at the TXADOM (Texas Association of Directors of Missions) meeting at the Mount Lebanon Conference Center today and tomorrow. However, Monday's minor surgery has rolling consequences that continue, for the moment, going from bad to worse in some ways. For example, I can barely open my right eye due to swelling. Fun stuff!

The keynote presenter at the TXADOM meetings is a friend from the North American Mission Board, Jeff Christopherson. Jeff is a kingdom leader. His family story is an inspirational one. His two books refocus church leaders on the kingdom of God.

The Kingdom Matrix: designing a church for the Kingdom of God has four sections, beginning with Deconstructing Christian Mythology: Theological Assumptions of the Kingdoms. The second section is Reconstructing Kingdoms. The third section is, Acknowledging Our Influencers. Among these are money, energy, change, community, love, and authority. Section four is Constructing a Kingdom Design.

This is a book you may want to read twice. You will enjoy it and profit from it both times.

Jeff's newest book is Kingdom First: Starting Churches that Shape Movements . Mac Lake, Auxano team member and originator the Leadership Pipeline process, coauthors the part five on Teamwork.

Christopherson begins in part one with Kingdom First. He explains what the Bible means when it refers to the kingdom. He describes the beauty of the kingdom. He tells us what a kingdom-centric church plant looks like. He helps us redefine success in light of the kingdom.

Part two is about character: the character of Christ, leading myself, leading my family, and leading God's people. Part three is about context. These five chapters are essential for church starters and their teams.

Part four is about communication. This section goes well beyond the ideas of preaching. It addresses the importance of knowing the audience, how preaching in a church plant is different, and how to communicate vision. Part six is about how the gospel makes a difference in communities, in leadership styles, and in becoming glocal churches.

Part seven is about discipleship. What does the word mean? What is a disciple? How are disciples made? How are they multiplied? Part eight goes further with the idea of multiplication.

Every pastor, church planter, and church staff member needs to read these two books. They should hand them to their key leaders. Christopherson's reminders of kingdom ministry are timely. His emphasis on multiplying disciples is a welcome call back to our primary responsibility.
Trust and Obey
By: Gary Crowell

It is impossible to look at this title and not think of the well know hymn, "Trust and Obey." Here's the background story on this beloved hymn. One night at a Dwight L. Moody evangelistic meeting in Brockton, Massachusetts, a young man stood up to testify about his confidence of salvation. He said, "I am not quite sure," meaning that he wasn't really certain that God would save him from his sins-and then he continued, "But I'm going to trust, and I'm going to obey"-meaning that he planned to trust God for his salvation and to do what he could to obey God's will. The song leader that night, Daniel Towner, was so impressed by the young man's testimony that he wrote down those words and stuck them in his pocket.  Later, he wrote a friend, John Sammis. In his letter, he told about the young man's testimony and included the young man's words: "I am not quite sure, but I'm going to trust, and I'm going to obey." Before long Sammis and Towner had teamed up to write the words and tune that we still sing today. The spoken testimony of an unknown young man has blessed multitudes since 1887 and will continue to do so for decades to come.

There is a great lesson in this for all of us. We never know on this side of eternity how our words and actions will impact the now and the tomorrow. With this reality in mind, it is important that we measure our words and actions. Words can encourage and inspire or else condemn and destroy. The same is true of our actions. In the area of giving, we never know how God will take a donation made to His Kingdom business to multiply impact in the lives of those who need to know Him and those who need to grow in following Him.  

The song "Thank You" by Ray Boltz became popular in 1990. It goes through several scenarios where an obedient Christ-follower meets in heaven with one after another whose lives were changed because of his investment of money, time or energies to do the Lord's work.  Some of the lyrics say, "Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that was changed, Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am so glad you gave."

Let us return to the whole trust and obey theme. Generosity giving requires a great deal of trust and a great deal of obedience.The trust is exhibited in how much we believe deep within ourselves that God is able to provide for all our needs while we are faithful in giving to Him. The obedience factor kicks in when the crucial moment comes and we make the decision of how we will respond to the opportunity to live a generosity giving lifestyle.

In Philippians 4:19 the Apostle Paul reminds us that our God will meet all of our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. This is at the end of the section where he has expressed gratitude to the Philippians for their generosity to him as he set out from Macedonia even when no other church did so. He experienced first hand what our Heavenly Father is capable of doing in a very personal way in our lives if we will only trust and obey.

  1. What score would you give yourself on the "trust and obey"scale?
  2. What score would God give you on the "trust and obey"scale?
  3. What needs to change to bring these two into alignment?

re:FOCUS Journey for Pastors and Staff


Is is time to refocus your life?

Want to experience a life change journey designed just for pastors, staff and leaders? This is not like any other discipleship conference you have experienced. This is a time you can refresh yourself in a hands-on experiential-type of journey. Here are some of the things you will experience:                                                               
  • A safe environment
  • Time for reflection
  • Time to spend reading the Bible and reflecting on your relationship with Christ
  • Authentic facilitators who let you discover your own way
  • Prayers offered over you
  • Laughter and fun
  • A few stretching and challenging activities
  • Time to hear God speaking just to you
  • A renewed excitement and expectation about what God is doing in your life

The next re:FOCUS journey will start Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. on October 8th and end at noon on Tuesday, October 10th at Riverbend Retreat Center. The cost is $149. Each retreat time is unique and will focus on different aspects to help empower leaders.


Retreat #1
- Leaders will spend time re:Connecting with God and with peers in an experiential learning environment. This time will include alone time with God enhancing their dependence on the Father and time to make friends with peers that are both authentic and safe.

Retreat # 2
- Six months later leaders will come back together to re:Discover who God has made them to be. They will spend time exploring things about themselves and formulating their own personal mission statements.

Retreat #3
- In another six months leaders will re:Think what it means to be a disciple. They will explore passages of scripture and write their own definition of a disciple. They will gain a clear picture of what this disciple looks like and how they personally will help others grow to be a fully devoted follower of Christ.

Retreat #4
- The final retreat six months later will focus on re:Engaging with God in His Kingdom. How has God created me to be most effective personally on engaging others? What is He nudging me to do? How do I most effectively lead myself and others?

Between these retreat weeks leaders will meet together monthly to encourage and pray for each other.

Interested? If so, contact Becky Biser at


Sign up today!


Date: October 8-10, 2017 (Begin Sunday evening at 6:00 and ending at Tuesday at noon)

Cost: $149 each retreat (includes lodging, meals, snacks, books and other materials)

Duration: 4 retreats over 2 years (Oct. 8-10, 2017; April 15-17, 2018; October 7-9, 2018 and April 7-9, 2019)


Register Here!

21st Century Wilberforce Initiative - Speak Freedom

The Baptist General Convention of Texas  (BGCT) is partnering with the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative (21CWI) to announce Speak FreedomSundayNovember 5, 2017.  This designated Sunday will be promoted for churches and faith communities in Texas as a day of solidarity with the religiously-persecuted around the world.  This will be a day to emphasize praying for the persecuted church.  This can also be a day to preach on religious freedom, show a video, teach a Bible study, etc. in support of the persecuted church.
Free resources will be available to download such as videos, fact sheets, sermon starters/outlines, Bible studies, contemporary stories from persecuted Christians, and action items.  Guest speakers can also be available if requested.
Did you know?  More than 70% of the world's people live in places where there is some form of religious restriction, discrimination, or ongoing persecution.  Dr. Randel Everett, President and Founder of 21CWI says, "Speak Freedom Sunday will be a great encouragement to Christians globally to know that we are remembering them.  This will also send a strong message to government leaders (domestic and international) that international religious freedom is a national priority." 
There will be more details to come in the months ahead from both the BGCT and 21CWI but for now please
SAVE THE DATE:  Speak Freedom Sunday, November 5, 2017.
May God continue to bless you as you continue to serve Him.
Christian Men's Job Corps
If you are looking for an  opportunity to improve your  chances of finding and keeping  a job, contact us today. 

New  classes starting soon!

Christian men's job corps of greater Arlington provides a 6-week program of instruction designed to prepare you for the job you want.

Classes Started Monday, September 11th!

For more information:
Revive This Nation 2018
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is eagerly preparing for Revive This Nation 2018, our historic  program aimed at serving Southern Baptists as a catalyst for revival.

Will you join us in an effort to proclaim Christ to our nation? We would be honored if you would assist us by informing the local churches in your association of this opportunity. Churches can register for the revival program at

The basic features of Revive This Nation are as follows:
  • Southwestern Seminary recruits churches to hold revival meetings in the spring and pays for the preacher's round-trip transportation.
  • The host church provides meals, lodging, and local transportation for the preacher while he is on the field.
  • Revival meetings generally begin on Sunday morning and end on Wednesday evening March 11-14, 2008, although alternative formats are available.
If you would like to speak with someone about RTN, please contact Daniel Dickard, Dean of Students,
at  817-923-1921 ext. 6331.
Opportunity for Volunteer Interim Pastors in England
 Morley Community Church near Leads in Yorkshire
TAGS Faith Based Bridge
Many churches and faith based organizations have one thing in common: wrestling with and working to address the needs of seniors when they find themselves in crisis or as they experience the limitations aging brings about for them. We are bringing together experienced leaders in our community who will talk about the resources they use to help those in their congregations and organizations as they navigate change and crises.
TAGS (Tarrant Area Gerontological Society)'s Faith Based Bridge is an event to help pastors and their staff as well as leaders in faith-based organizations to come together to learn about and collaborate on Best Practices and Resources that are already available in the Tarrant County Area to address some of the many common needs of seniors.
Will you look at the attached event flyer, register yourself and consider forwarding this to pastors you know who might also find this helpful. All attendees will receive a "Blue Book" of local resources to utilize in the area and breakfast and lunch are included in the low fee of just $20. Mark off Oct. 3 today to attend!
We look forward to meeting you and working together to better meet the needs of our senior communities in times of transition and crisis. If you would like more information, please contact: Rev. Linda White at 817-360-5932.
Celebrate Pastor's Recovery
If you are a minister or a minister's wife, new Celebrate Recovery groups are forming now to begin in September or October.

If you are interested to be a part of one of these very private groups, contact the following:

Men - John at  (254) 394-1589
Women - Carolyn at  (817) 994-4645
Upcoming Training Schedule & Info. for New Church Partners & Volunteers

If you are a New Church Partner or a New Worker

ATTEND THIS FREE Super Seminar Training for New Good News Club Churches and Workers

Training is from 9:30 am until 3:30 pm

Please bring your Bible and $6 cash or check for lunch. Complete the online application at prior to class. This class is for new partnering church teams, as well as any new worker joining an existing Good News Club.

Saturday, September 16
Saintsville Baptist Church
2000 Oak Hill Road
Fort Worth

Free balloon class -- learn simple ballooning techniques that you can use in your club as prizes and object lessons. Class will be from 10 am until Noon. $15 for pump and bag of balloons.
Saturday, October 28
CEF Office
BGCT Upcoming Events
  • BOUNCE 2017 - Harvey Affected Areas -- Bounce has revised their 2018 ministry schedule to assist in recovery efforts in Harvey affected areas. Click here for more information.
  • Texas Baptist Men have an emergency Request from national WMU - Help 350 of their World Crafts artisans and families who are experiencing the severe drought and famine
    in Kenya | Click here for more information
News from Churches
News from churches church
If any church is in need of a  1956 or 1957 Hammond B3 Organ with Leslie Speaker, please contact Randall Loftis at 817-521-5160.

JOB OPENING for Normandale Baptist Church --  We are exploring hiring a very part-time preschool ministry coordinator (6-10hrs/wk), someone whose primary responsibility is volunteer scheduling and curriculum setup. He or she will also assist the children's minister to administer the preschool ministry. This person must be willing to become a member of Normandale.  This person needs to have a strong administrative gift coupled with a positive, joyful personality to encourage volunteers through potentially draining times. Some experience would be desired but is not necessary due to the simplified nature of what we are doing and the volunteers/staff around them.  Please contact John Wohlgemuth at  with any inquiries or resumes. Thank you.

Mission Outreach opportunity -- Tina Largent is providing free movie nights to churches. For more information, please contact her at 817-313-3115.

Mayfield Road Baptist Church is looking to hire some positions in their children's ministry. They are looking to fill three positions:  Childcare workers Kids Worship Coordinator , and  Teacher for Special Needs . If you would like more information or are interested in a position, please email Doug McPherson at

FREE choir books & CD's/cassettes --  A church has renewed their music library and is offering these materials to bless others. The material is available to be picked up at a home in West Arlington (right off of I-20) contact  817-821-2209 .

Flower Mound First Baptist Church has two podiums we would like to donate. Delivery is not available. If interested, they will need to be picked up at the church. If you are interested, please call the Church Office at 972-539-0641 .

Great Commission Baptist Church (7700 McCart Ave. Fort Worth, Texas 76133) will be hosting a job fair on Thursday, September 14 from 9 AM until 2 PM. There will be resume writing, interview do's and don't's, and networking strategies. Please call Dr. Dale Allen at 817-346-1869 or email for more information and questions.