God’s Provision

Their tongues clung to the roofs of their mouths.  The extended journey had led them further into the wilderness and away from all known water supplies.  They thirsted for something with which to moisten their parched, cracked lips.  As the dust boiled up beneath their sandal-covered feet, they cried out for water. 

Not champagne or goats milk or fresh-squeezed orange juice, but water.  A basic requirement for survival was missing and they passionately pleaded for its provision.  They didn’t even ask for ice. 

Moses forwarded their request to God, Who in turn outlined a plan to get some water.  God always has a plan.  The plan defied human logic.  God’s plans usually do.  Moses followed the plan anyway.  So should we.  In obedience to the Word from God, Moses used his staff to strike a rock near the base of Mt. Sinai.

Water gushed forth from the rock with such bountiful supply that every one of the over two million Israelites drank until they thirsted no more.  God supplied their need in the most unexpected of ways when they simply obeyed His instruction.  He will do the same for you.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Two Men in the Temple” Luke 18:9-14
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Graciously Pushing Forward

On October 25 we will be forming a Children’s Minister search committee. Each member of First Baptist Church will be asked to submit up to five names of those they believe would make good members on the search committee. From those receiving the most recommendations, a committee of five will be formed that will actively pursue our next Children’s Minister.

Currently the ministry to children is being led by Tamra Misak and Deborah Fulton. They are leading out in many positive ways on an interim basis. The personnel committee has decided that it is time to move forward with pursuing a called staff member for the position of Children’s Minister at FBC Weatherford. They know this is a position that means so much to the health and growth of the church. Begin now praying about who you will recommend to the committee. Also pray for God’s direction as a Children’s Minister is sought. We want God’s will to be done.

As we continue pushing forward during this pandemic, know that I love you and am thrilled that I get to be your pastor during such a time as this. So many of you have surfaced in various ministry roles. Thank you. We could not make an impact for Christ without your active participation. You are making sacrifices, and people are being blessed.

As a church, we have made wearing a mask and socially distancing a matter of personal preference. We diligently clean and sanitize, but we do not police anyone’s behavior once they enter the building. However, showing Christian love is not a matter of personal preference. Your view on mask-wearing does not permit you to treat others without kindness. All of us have been given so much contradictory information from various sources that I understand why different viewpoints exist about wearing masks. Nailing me down on this issue would be like nailing Jello to the wall.

So, let me reaffirm my love for each of you. I delight to be your pastor. I have never lived through anything like this and neither have you. Let’s show grace to one another, even as God shows grace to us. People continue to have multiplied needs that can only be met in Christ. The gospel must continue to be shared and lived even during a pandemic. Thanks for doing your part.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Like a Good Neighbor” Luke 10:25-37
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary….this week “Night of Praise” It’s Fall Break, so there will be no children’s activities.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Finding Joy and Peace

I found it where I lost it.

Several years ago, a friend handed me a key to a half-section of pasture that he owned and told me to take my dogs out and let them run any time I wanted. I don’t think I have received many gifts during my lifetime that are so practically beneficial. I have no idea how many times I have unlocked the gate and driven in before releasing the dogs from their box. They usually leap off the tailgate like two horses competing in the Kentucky derby.

This day had been no different from previous days. After parking, I put my phone in my coat pocket and my key in my jeans pocket. I walked while the dogs explored and ran untethered. They circled back often. We eventually made it to the pond, where they waded and drank. I just watched. At the truck, I loaded them up before we headed for home.

I exited the truck and reached into my pocket to get the key to unlock the gate. I found nothing. I returned to the truck and searched the cup holder. Again, I found nothing. I quickly assessed the situation. I had not left the key at home or I couldn’t have entered the pasture. I do have a master’s degree!

My conclusion was that the key had fallen from my pocket when I retrieved the truck key after loading the dogs. I returned to where I had parked. I searched for the small key with the smaller white tag that said “Dean’s key.” I usually park in about the same spot in the grass. Knowing where to look made it much easier to find the key, which I did!

Have you lost the joy of the Lord? Have you lost the peace of God? You will find them where you lost them. Go back to that place where you were spending time with the Lord consistently, and trusting Him completely. Focus on Him and not on current events that swirl around you. Only then will you be able to rejoice in the Lord.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Counting the Cost” Luke 14:25-35
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Members

Jared & Jayci Henriksen, Mikylin York, Braden Sweet, and Carter Tharp

In Need of a Coat

He needed a coat. The interior of the Roman jail cell offered few conveniences to the seasoned apostle. His basic needs were provided only when the soldier on duty felt compelled to do so. Many nights he had trouble sleeping. A growling stomach tends to make rest almost impossible. The air smelled musty and chilled his body to the bone after the sun went down.

Now winter was coming and the situation would get worse. Paul was not one to complain, but the cloak he left behind in Troas with Carpus would sure make the days, and especially the nights, much easier to endure. So he asked Timothy to bring the coat with him when he came to visit. 

Paul-the apostle. Paul-the author of at least thirteen books in the New Testament. Paul-the great missionary and evangelist. Paul-the scholar. Spending his final days on earth incarcerated by wicked people. And he didn’t even have a coat.

Quite the contrast, don’t you think, with those religious leaders of today who tell us that if we just have enough faith and get the sin out of our lives all will go well for us physically and financially. Apparently these modern day leaders have more insight and integrity than Paul had. Or maybe they just don’t know what they’re talking about.

Sometimes God’s choice people suffer hardship on earth. Paul not only died homeless, he died coatless. It didn’t bother Paul, though. He knew the Lord would bring him safely to His heavenly kingdom. He wouldn’t need a coat there.

I love you,   Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “God Shows No Partiality” Acts 10:24-48
  • This Sunday, September 27 – Membership Matters at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Smiling Every Day

I am thrilled we are meeting together in person as a church. We are able to encourage each other and glorify God as we gather together. We are able to offer both Sunday morning worship services, as well as LifeGroups for all. On Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. we have activities for all children and the Gathering service for youth, university students, and adults. CDO happens on Mondays and Thursdays. We have come a long way since the pandemic began.

We are not offering everything we once did. There are no homemade snacks in the commons area between services on Sunday morning. There is no Wednesday night meal. There is no adult choir. There are no over-55 activities. We remain vigilant to provide ourselves the safest opportunity to continue meeting as a church. Our goal is not to do everything we once did. Our goal is to remain open every week.

Our goal is also to remain united as a church. We cannot allow the devil to divide us over masks and politics. How tragic it would be for any church to major on minor issues and therefore hinder itself from making disciples for Jesus. During a pandemic, people still spend eternity separated from God if they die without a relationship with Christ.

My personal plan is to continue smiling while withholding judgment on anyone. I have been your pastor for over nineteen years. I love all of you and want God’s best for you. If someone does not feel comfortable in a crowd, I am still their pastor. If someone rolls their eyes and speaks of conspiracies, I am still their pastor. If someone wears a mask in public, I am still their pastor. If someone tests positive for covid-19, I am still their pastor. Ministry does not stop during a pandemic. So far, I have done fifteen funerals this year.

I cannot please everyone. I am wearing a mask more often, not because I am certain about the benefits of doing so. I am wearing a mask more often because I do not want to quarantine for two weeks if I am around someone who tests positive. I don’t want to be sidelined at this time. I continue to thank God that I get to be your pastor – even during such a time as this.

Smiling every day, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Going To The Gentiles” Acts 10:1-23
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Guest Speaker Wednesday: Stephen Myers. Topic: How to pray without using big words.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Member

Jackson Yount

Remaining Steadfast

If you want to enjoy life to the fullest, you need to catch a balance in the way that you live. Keith Wiginton used to refer to the ABC’s of ministry as the CAB’s – “catch a balance!” What is true for ministers is true for everyone. There needs to be a balance between work and play, church and family, rest and exercise, study and fellowship…you get the idea.

An older pastor advised me, early in ministry, that I should not do ministry as he had done it. He had become obsessive in how many visits he could make and how much service he could provide. He could not let himself stop, and eventually he paid a major emotional price. Living wired up all the time tends to short us out.

Stress causes multiplied physical, emotional, and spiritual problems. Jesus taught us, and modeled for us, the art of trusting God in the midst of the storm. It is OK to accept your limitations and leave issues with the Lord. Only He can remedy them anyway. You are neither unconcerned nor faithless when you don’t pray about the same issue every day from now on. You are maintaining a balanced perspective on prayer, as you continue to live life for the long haul. I personally focus on different areas as I pray each day throughout the week. 

And God is good with that. He does not look for a reason to deny my requests. He delights in me as I wait on His timing and His will. It is called trust. We are to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, if we acknowledge Him, He will make our paths straight.

Many automobile accidents occur when drivers overcorrect. The driver realizes that they are drifting off one side of the road and then jerks the steering wheel toward the other side of the road. This often results in a rollover that can prove tragic. Far better to drift back toward the center of the road rather than head for the other ditch!

Routine, like the center of the road, can be your friend. Under the leadership of God, develop a balanced pattern of living that avoids extremes. You can accomplish a lot in life by remaining steadfast. Remember the tortoise who defeated the hare?

Proverbs 3:5-6, Earl 


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “God’s Power Displayed” Acts 9:32-43
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • Observance of The Lord’s Supper – this Sunday, September 13 at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Family Movie Night “I Still Believe” this Sunday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

A New Coffee Maker

We began the hunt for a new coffee maker. Nancy checked prices locally before she ventured online. During the process she discovered one that was priced at a heavily discounted rate. By the time she went to pick it up, the deal was cancelled. She came home frustrated and without a new coffee pot.

I am so glad she struck out in her search. Let me explain. On a couple of mornings during a short span, the counter surrounding the coffee maker had been covered with coffee. We concluded that something was leaking. Our conclusion was dead on. Coffee would not cover the counter instead of filling the pot if all was well.

We had used the pot for a few years. It makes great coffee in a hurry. I can pour fresh water in when I get up and be drinking a cup in less than five minutes. I have actually cut back on my coffee consumption but still enjoy some every morning. Nancy and I were not going to do without coffee due to a pot malfunction. Also, Nancy did not appreciate her counter being covered with coffee. We are at a stage in life where we can afford a new coffee maker when one is needed.

Which gets me to the point of this article. We did not need a new coffee maker. I thought through the situation. If something was leaking inside the appliance, it would be coming from the reservoir and that would be clear water. Coffee would have to be coming from a cracked pot or…my mind was working systematically through the scenario. Or, I was not setting the pot directly under the drip as the coffee was made.

Problem solved. I don’t know how I was doing it, but I had sloppily been placing the pot on the burner in such a way that much of the coffee ran off the side instead of into the pot. When I took my time and centered the pot, no coffee spilled over onto the counter. Nothing was broken. I had just gotten careless.

The same thing happens in some marriages. Nothing breaks. Husband and wife just get careless with their actions and their words. When they slow down and give attention to detail, they realize that what they have is not only functional but wonderful.

Pay attention, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “The People God Uses” Acts 9:23-31
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Church Office will be closed this Monday, September 7 for Labor Day
  • The Gathering, this Wednesday September 9 at 6:30 p.m. (Childcare for Babies-3’s)
  • Observance of The Lord’s Supper, next Sunday, September 13 at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Family Movie Night “I Still Believe” next Sunday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Members

Mark Kennedy, Dean & Marsha Tucker, Kendrick Swearingen, Lakyn Smith, Lizben Meigs, Aiden Foust, Olivia Roper, Kambree Bates, and Candace Lopez

Sign Up To Serve

I have never known of a time when it was more appropriate and necessary to pray without ceasing and serve without reluctance. The answer for the multiplied divisive issues that swirl around us is nothing less than God Himself. God works through His people in the church. Now is the time, as at no other time, for the church to be the church. We must push back against the tactics of Satan with prayer and service. We remain engaged in a Spiritual battle that God can and will win. We must do our part.

We must pray. I remain unable to explain just how prayer works. I just know that it does work. God moves with power in response to the unselfish prayers of His people. We are asking Him to heal our land and expand His kingdom. As He changes the lives of people, those people will contribute to the welfare of our land and His kingdom. The issues in front of us are far greater than we can handle. Nothing is too hard for God. Pray without ceasing!

We must serve. The local church has been designed by God so that all of the members work together like the parts of a human body. We are needed in the local church, and we need the local church. As we uniquely serve with zeal, the local church remains healthy and effective. We are in the midst of a time when volunteers are needed to serve in specific areas. Everyone’s responsibility is no one’s responsibility.

You will be given the opportunity to sign up to serve this Sunday in the fellowship hall. We are all different, and we are all necessary. You can sign up to provide a birthday cake and gifts for a foster child in Custer County. You can sign up to provide a meal at the HIA house or help with Branch 15. You can sign up to serve in the children’s area on Sunday or Wednesday nights. You can sign up to join a D-Group or attend Women of the Word events. You can sign up to help with greeting, technology, or security. You can sign up to bring snacks to Celebrate Recovery or dishes to funeral meals.  You can even sign up to order a “Pray Without Ceasing” T-shirt. 

We need to be the church. We all can and should do our part. Thanks for all you do.

I love you,                              Earl


FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “From Persecutor to Preacher” Acts 9:1-22
  • Membership Matters Class – this Sunday, August 30 at 10:30 a.m. in the Parlor
  • Sign up to Serve – this Sunday, August 30 in the Fellowship Hall
  • Baptism at Crowder Lake – this Sunday, August 30 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

The Sky is Not Falling!

The sky is not falling! As we live through a pandemic and multiple staff vacancies, rest assured that God remains on His throne. The same God who watched over us when we squeezed into crowds at ball games and church is the same God who watches over us today. We have not been left as orphans. We remain greatly loved and graciously cared for by the One who has miraculously created us and graciously saved us. From God’s perspective, nothing has changed.

His expectation of us remains the same. He expects us to faithfully serve Him where He has placed us with the gifts He has given us. We have never been able to change people or produce results. We still can’t. We are merely doing our jobs for the glory of God. At times, when we do our jobs, God causes the waves to rise, and we are able to ride them as they surge. At other times the tide goes out as we continue to do our jobs with the same pursuit of excellence. God doesn’t love us less when the measurable results don’t appear to be so robust.

As a church, we have never taken credit for what God has done in increasing attendance and producing disciples. In the same way, we will not take the blame when numbers decline. We cannot credit ourselves, and we must not blame ourselves. We must continue to remain faithful to God’s call on our lives. Circumstances change in major ways. God’s expectations of us remain constant.

During this season, Allison Kendall is serving as the interim university minister. Mikylin York is serving as the university intern. Tamra Misak is serving along with Deborah Fulton as interim coordinators of all things related to preschool and children. Thanks for your prayerful support of them and of the church. This is no time to sit back and wait for someone else to act. If the Holy Spirit nudges you to jump, just ask “how far” and do it!

This is the time to pray and seek God’s mercy and guidance. This is the time to volunteer and get involved. We are not going to rush out and hire a lot of people. We are going to wait on God’s timing in what to do and when to do it. Ministry has never been more challenging. Ministry has never been more rewarding.

How blessed I am to be your pastor! Earl

FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “Sharing The Good News” Acts 8:26-40
  • Membership Matters Class – Sunday, August 30 at 10:30 a.m. in the Parlor
  • Sign up to Serve – Sunday, August 30 in the Fellowship Hall
  • Baptism at Crowder Lake – Sunday, August 30 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Farewell to the Townleys

This coming Sunday, August 16, we will host a farewell fellowship for the Scott Townley family in the Family Life Center at 2:00 p.m. It seems appropriate that the fellowship will take place on the first Sunday that students are back at SWOSU. Scott and his wife Katy excelled in reaching university students. Many university students are saved and walking with Christ because of the ministry of Scott and Katy.

I first met them when they were students at SWOSU. Katy worked for a time in the office. I became aware of what a kind-hearted person she is. She even helped me when I asked her for recommendations on books for couples planning to marry. She and Scott were themselves preparing to marry at the time. Scott was always fun to visit with after church or while eating on Wednesday nights. Even as students, they showed themselves to be outstanding followers of Jesus.

They returned to Weatherford a little over three years ago with Livy and Harrison. It was such a joy to know how God had used them as well as to anticipate similar results at FBC Weatherford. They did not disappoint. With precision and zeal, they partnered in reaching out to students and building a ministry that continues to reach more and more university students. Even as they move on, the ministry will continue, because of the manner in which they led. We will miss their presence and their leadership.

Scott remained a great help to me personally with articles he shared and books he recommended. I have been greatly helped by the way he passed on to me what God was teaching him. We had many good conversations about life and ministry which enriched me personally.  

While it is obviously true that God’s plan for any church is larger than any one minister, it is also true that God’s plan for any minister is larger than any one church. We will continue to pray for the Townley family as they leave Weatherford to follow God’s lead. We will always be grateful for the way God used them to strengthen His church in this place.

Be sure to stop by Sunday and let them know how much you appreciate them.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Farewell Reception for Scott and Katy Townley this Sunday, August 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center
  • This Sundays Sermon “The Scattered Church” Acts 8:1-25
  • Baptism at Crowder Lake – August 30 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services anytime after 11:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote