Learning from Our Mistakes

“In Jesus’ name, amen.”

The prayer before the evening meal at our house had ended abruptly. I was in grade school when we had gathered around the peninsula bar in the kitchen to share a sumptuous meal together as a family. Daddy prayed. He had barely said a word when an explosive sound resonated through our house after originating in the wood burning fireplace. Mama quickly confessed that she had tossed a black cat firecracker into the edge of the fire as a prank like her children had been doing.

One of us explained to her that we had been occasionally throwing some caps into the fireplace. They made a small noise and caused no residual damage. I was willing to forfeit a few caps I used while playing F-Troop in order to watch them pop and burn. I have no idea where Mama found the firecracker. She did clean up the ashes that covered the hearth. 

The fire was slow to get started so Daddy retrieved some lighter fluid from the garage to help it get going. He poured some into a paper cup in the garage and then brought it inside and tossed it on the smoldering fire. The flame jumped from the firebox and covered his arm. He lost all the hair and some of the skin. It looked awful. Turned out that in the early morning darkness, he had mistaken a can of Coleman’s white gas for a can of lighter fluid. His mistake proved quite painful. He still took us to meet the bus. 

I was exploring near the wood pile on the south end of our house when I saw the cute little bug with the orange furry tail section running between the logs. I decided to pick it up and show it to one of my sisters. I had never seen a cow ant before. The bite I received was one of the worst I ever experienced. I mistook a pain-causing ant for a cute little bug and paid the price for my error. I never made that mistake again. Neither did my Mama. Neither did Daddy. 

My brother, Rex, had a poster in his room that pictured a pig covered with mud. The caption read, “If we learn from our mistakes, I am getting a fantastic education.” We really can and should learn from our mistakes. 

I love you, 

Earl


FBC Highlights

  • May 12 LifeGroup Attendance – 694
  • Sunday Sermon – “Prioritizing Life and Marriage” – Exodus 20:13-14
  • Membership Matters Class – May 19 at 10:30 a.m. in the Parlor
  • All Church Meal / Family Meeting in the FLC – Sunday, May 19 at 11:30 a.m.
  • GriefShare….Loss of a Spouse Seminar – May 19 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Registration for Vacation Bible School – June 3-7, is available online http://www.fbcweatherford.com
  • Falls Creek 2019 will be July 15 – 20
  • May 26th – One service at 10:30 am. No LifeGroups

A Mother’s Love

Image result for bird nest

She refuses to quit.  Her choice of location lacked foresight, yet she continues to devote herself to success in spite of ongoing interruptions.  Why would a purple finch put down roots in a flower-covered wreath near some human’s front door?  I don’t know why, but I do know that she did.  Under ongoing surveillance she gathered materials and constructed a nest.  Every time – and there were plenty of times- we entered or exited our house, her progress was impeded.  Nevertheless, she completed the task.

          Once the structure was stable and softened, the egg laying began.  Daily we tabulated the count.  One small egg appeared, then two and eventually four.  After the miniature eggs filled the small nest, the incubation started.  At her post, the mother-to-be sits and waits.  When I turn the knob to open the door, she pokes out her head before flying away as I walk onto the porch.  Sometimes I turn the knob and watch through the side window just for fun.  When I get out of my truck I see her fly away about the time I slam my door. 

          I wonder if the bird periodically regrets building her nest in such a busy place.  I wonder if she inwardly regrets not setting up the nursery in a tall tree like most birds do.  Did she ever consider forgetting the four speckled eggs and starting over in another location?  After all, don’t bad circumstances validate deserted responsibilities?  Apparently not.  The bird will not leave her post.

          She demonstrates a mother’s love.  Sacrificially she provided as best she knew how for the offspring who were to come.  When threats appeared she refused to abandon her responsibility.  She offered no excuses, she altered no goals and she minimized no task.  Mothers do the same thing all the time as they act consistently and selflessly to secure the welfare of their children. 

          She also illustrates the faithfulness of God.  Isaiah 49:15 quotes the Lord as asking and answering His own question:  “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”  As God watches over us we are secure-no matter what the circumstance.

                   I love you a lot …

                   God loves you more,

                             Earl

FBC Happenings

  • May 5 LifeGroup Attendance – 663
  • Sunday Sermon “Prioritizing Family” Exodus 20:12
  • Senior Recognition Sunday – May 12
  • Mission Recognition Night – May 15 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Membership Matters Class – May 19 at 10:30 a.m. in the Parlor
  • All Church Meal / Family Meeting in the FLC – Sunday, May 19 at 11:30 a.m.
  • GriefShare….Loss of a Spouse Seminar – May 19 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Registration for Vacation Bible School – June 3-7, is available online http://www.fbcweatherford.com
  • Falls Creek 2019 will be July 15 – 20

New Members

Alec Stutzman Chase Stutzman

Children in Today’s World

Children need to know how to fail. Early in life, they need to face the reality that they will not always win at everything they do. One of my seminary professors explained that he never let his boys outrun him in a race across the yard. He did not want to rob them of the genuine victory that one day would be theirs. If children are given a trophy for everything, they are never really rewarded for anything. Besides, failure is a big part of life in this world. A righteous man may fall seven times, but he continues to get back up. Children need to know how to fail. Let them.

          Children need to know how to follow. They need to follow the guidance and submit to the training of their parents. Children should honor and respect their teachers, not challenge and belittle them. Children should treat adults with respect. Children are not capable of knowing, much less pursuing what is best for them. They cannot defy authority indefinitely. Life has a way of eventually getting everyone’s attention. The sooner children learn to follow the better.

          Children need to know how to not have fun. Some essential actions in life are not necessarily fun. We must learn to enjoy the things required in life rather than pursue only those things we enjoy. Through the years, I have often heard children complain about things not being fun. Having fun has never been more important than doing right, and it never will be. It does not hurt children to do chores and fulfill responsibilities that create more sweat than smiles.

          Teaching children is a tough job in our world. Some children will not sit still, pay attention, or keep quiet because they have been allowed to believe that they are the center of the universe. Some children have rarely been told “no” and never been disciplined. It is little wonder that some school teachers opt to change careers.

To end on a positive note, there are many wonderful, unselfish children growing up in the world. They are the ones who have been allowed to fail, taught to follow, and required to participate in non-fun activities. It may be more challenging to bring up children in today’s world, but it is not impossible. God’s Word remains true. Read through Proverbs.

                             Proverbs 22:6,

                             Earl

FBC Happenings

  • April 28 LifeGroup Attendance – 677
  • Sunday Sermon “Written in Stone – Prioritizing God II” – Exodus 20:7-11
  • Kids Praise Musical – “Back to the Cross” – May 5 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Senior Recognition Sunday – May 12
  • Mission Recognition Night – May 15 at 6:30 p.m.
  • All Church Meal / Family Meeting in the FLC – Sunday, May 19 at Noon
  • Registration for Vacation Bible School – June 3-7, is available online http://www.fbcweatherford.com
  • Falls Creek 2019 will be July 15 – 20

Welcome New Members

  • Tyson McSperitt

Mt. Tee Pee Baptist Church

         On the way home from church, we always stopped at Duck Denny’s store to get the “funny paper.” That is what daddy always referred to the Sunday Oklahoman as, since it included an expanded comic section. Mama, my sisters, and I waited in the car while daddy went inside the small store located on the gravel road about midway between our house and the Mount Tee Pee Baptist Church. Daddy always came out with the paper and some Bazooka bubble gum and a few Tootsie rolls. 

It was our routine. So was attending church. Every Sunday we got ready, and loaded up, and headed through the country until we arrived at the small church we attended until I was six years old. We sat in the pews with our parents. Daddy sometimes let me look at his closed pocket knife while I sat through the sermon. During one of those services, my foot went to sleep for the first time in my life. I removed my shoe and looked for the bugs that seemed to be crawling beneath my foot.

          My favorite hymn was “When the Morning Comes.” I liked the peppy melody long before I understood the message. I watched wasps circle inside the building during the spring when windows were opened to let in the breeze. Grandpa led the singing. He died shortly before the church disbanded and united with various fellowships. Pa-pa attended every time the doors were opened. He worked hard during the week and was more than ready to shut things down on Sunday and worship the Lord.

          God used that little country church just like He uses every church that remains faithful to Jesus. Mount Tee Pee supported many pastors, including Keith Wiginton, as they began their ministry. Many people were saved and baptized in the church. Members brought kettles of boiling water from their homes to help warm the water. Many who attended the church went on to become missionaries, pastors, church musicians, teachers, and leaders. Several churches received a boost when Mount Tee Pee closed its doors.

          Our world tends to require and celebrate “bigger and better.” God recognizes and rewards “faithful and true.” If you want the world to change for the better, remain at your post, faithfully fulfilling your God-given tasks until Jesus returns.  A lot of good can be done in and through every church where Jesus is Lord.

                                      Grateful for my heritage,

                                                Earl

FBC Highlights

  • April 21 LifeGroup Attendance – 739
  • Sunday Sermon – “Written in Stone – Prioritizing God” – Exodus 20:1-6
  • Membership Matters – Sunday, April 28 at 10:30 a.m. in the Parlor
  • Ball Brothers Concert – April 28 at 6:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:00 p.m.) Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at itickets.com, in the Church Office, and at The Welcome Center.
  • National Day of Prayer – May 2 / Prayer Breakfast at Lucille’s 7:00 a.m.
  • Kids Praise Musical – “Back to the Cross” – May 5 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Well Church Attendance this week – 162 We rejoice with them!
  • Registration for Vacation Bible School – June 3-7, is available online http://www.fbcweatherford.com

Overalls on Easter?

Every Easter he showed up in overalls. While surrounded by those who had shown up in new clothes and big hats, he silently protested tradition by wearing his only pair of overalls. On other Sundays during the year, when he taught an Adult Sunday school class, he wore slacks and a collared shirt. He wore nice clothes – except on Easter.  

          I have never been all that concerned about the clothes that people wear to church. As a pastor, I wore a suit and tie every Sunday for decades. I actually enjoyed dressing up a bit. Eventually I became one of a very few who wore a suit and tie. I opted to stop standing out like a sore thumb and started dressing more casually. It hasn’t affected my ability to preach.

          However, I may show up in a suit on Easter. I have been doing so for a long, long time. My intent, like others who dress up, will not be to draw attention to myself, but to magnify the significance of Christ’s resurrection. New clothes illustrate new life. There is nothing wrong with making such a statement on Easter. Every day is the Lord’s day. However, Easter is the most significant Sunday of the year for Christians. If there was no resurrection to celebrate, there would be no reason for the church to exist.

          Life is bursting forth all around us as Easter approaches. Abundant moisture during the winter has empowered all budding trees to put on quite a show. Flowers are blooming, and grass is growing. God is supplying multiplied illustrations of life as we anticipate celebrating the One who is the Resurrection and the Life!

          I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday. Come in your overalls or come in your suit. Just come. Invite others to attend. There will be no words said from the pulpit that belittle people who only come on special days. I am thrilled when anyone comes at any time wearing anything. Easter is not about clothes. Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He is risen. He is risen indeed.

                                      He lives!

                                                Earl


FBC Highlights

  • April 14 LifeGroup Attendance – 639
  • Sunday’s Easter Sermon – “The Resurrection of Jesus” – Matthew 28:1-10
  • Pathway to Easter – April 18 and April 19, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Come anytime during this timeframe for your self-guided prayer walk.
  • NO EVENING ACTIVITIES on Sunday, April 21
  • Membership Matters – Sunday, April 28 at 10:30 a.m. in the Parlor
  • Ball Brothers Concert – April 28 at 6:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:00 p.m.) Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at itickets.com, in the Church Office, and at The Welcome Center on Sundays.
  • Child Dedication – May 5 – Sign up sheets are at the Preschool Check-in Area. For more information contact Savannah.

Pathway to Easter

This Easter will again be a great time in the life of our church. We are celebrating the greatest event in the history of the world. That first Easter changed everything as far as man’s awareness of and relationship with God. When Jesus came out of the grave, He was shown to be exactly who He claimed to be – the Son of Man Who had given His life as a ransom for many. Jesus claimed that He paid in full for our sins on the cross. When He came back to life, He validated His claim.

          On the Wednesday before Easter, our “Gathering” worship service will include the observance of the Lord’s Supper. The message that night will be a dramatic monologue. I will be in Biblical costume as …  it’s a secret! Our entire church will gather together for this special service at 6:30 p.m. Don’t miss it.

          On the Thursday and Friday before Easter, we are offering “Pathway to Easter.” From 4 to 7 p.m. each evening, stations will be set up in our church that will allow individuals to take a personal journey in which to pray and meditate about the significance of the events leading up to Easter. You should allow about 30 minutes for this come and go event. Child care will only be offered on Thursday.

          Upon arriving through the south doors of the south commons area, you will be given a booklet that will guide you as you prepare your heart, give thanksgiving and praise to God, take the Lord’s Supper, and lay down burdens. You will actively participate in this remembrance of events in the life of Jesus during the final week before His Resurrection.

          The “Pathway to Easter” will be a moving worship experience. All scenes will be set up to aid you in your worship. You will be greatly blessed by coming. Feel free to invite family and friends to also attend. We will return on Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus together in both worship services.

We will remember and celebrate –

He lives!

Earl

FBC Highlights

  • April 7 LifeGroup Attendance – 711
  • Sunday Sermon – “The Crucifixion of Jesus” Matthew 27:32-56
  • DRAMATIC EASTER MONOLOGUE “The Rooster Crowed” with Observance of The Lord’s Supper on Wednesday, April 17 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Pathway to Easter – April 18 and April 19, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Come anytime during this timeframe for your self-guided prayer walk.
  • Ball Brothers Concert – April 28 at 6:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:00 p.m.) Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at itickets.com, in the Church Office, and at The Welcome Center on Sundays.
  • Child Dedication – May 5 – Sign up sheets are at the Preschool Check-in Area. For more information contact Savannah.

Welcome New Members

  • Ronnie and Angela Fleming
  • Brent and Anita Stubbs

Thankful for Life

Many years ago I read a syndicated columnist who predicted that technology would put an end to abortion as we knew it. Her expectation was based upon the increasing ability to look inside the womb and observe the development of the babies inside. No longer would there be speculation about tissue. From the time the fertilized egg began to grow, it was obviously human. All it needed was time and nourishment in order to grow to the point of entering this world alive.

          Her prediction proved wrong. There are none so blind as those who will not see. The hardness of hearts has grown to the point that some of the supposedly most educated people in our nation would willingly allow infanticide. I find this hard to believe and sickening to accept. What seems unacceptable to me remains celebrated by the masses.  Babies are killed in the wombs of their mothers at an alarming rate.

          I have been an adult since Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal in America. I have always voted for pro-life candidates and against pro-choice candidates. This one difference sways my vote every time. I was interviewed by a local paper when I lived in Holdenville. The reporter questioned me about this very issue. When he implied that I needed to consider the bigger picture, I explained that, for me, abortion was the big picture. Even without my born-again status, I cannot see myself favoring the death of babies.

          I empathize with those who have had abortions. God can and will heal any hurt. His steadfast love continues forever. I understand the horrible realities of rape and incest. I also know that most abortions are no more than an unthinkable form of birth control. King David tried to cover up his adultery with Bathsheba by having her husband Uriah killed. Abotion continues the practice of trying to cover up immorality with murder.

          What can we do? We can pray, and we can vote. We can live morally pure lives and expect the same of others. God will forgive immorality, but He will never approve of immorality. God will forgive murder, but He will never approve of murder. God will forgive abortion, but He will never approve of abortion. I am so glad my mother gave me birth! Every baby should have the same opportunity.

                                                I love you,

                                                    Earl

This Week at FBC

  • March 31 LifeGroup Attendance – 700
  • Sunday Sermon – “Surrender of Jesus” Matthew 26:36-46
  • Family Night – This Sunday, April 7 at 6:00 p.m. in the Worship Center
  • Pathway to Easter – April 18 and April 19, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Come anytime during this timeframe for your self-guided prayer walk.
  • Child Dedication – May 5 – Sign up sheets are at the Preschool Check in Area. For more information contact Savannah

Welcome New Members

  • Blake Powers
  • Linda Thomas
  • Jim and Janice Scott
  • Blake and Kristen Stanton