Watching and Waiting

They watched and waited while I worked. Freckles and Duke positioned themselves on the concrete inside the gate on the south side of our house. They peered through the decorative iron gate (made by Bryce Murphy many years ago) and barked not a word. Still, I knew what they wanted. Quail season had ended a couple of weeks earlier, and they longed for me to take them to a field where they could run like the wind.

Nancy had been gone most of the week and was scheduled to return in the afternoon. I was doing my best to complete the early annual yard work before noon. I cut back plants. I removed the aging knockout roses that seemed to have more thorns than blooms last year. I moved a couple of bushes and watered them in. I relocated some granite rocks and the sign that accented them.

The greatest challenge I faced was getting the old lawnmower and weed eater to start. Eventually they did, and I cut back the monkey grass in anticipation of spring growth. The blister I created on my right index finger was the only injury from the morning. I loaded up all the trimmings into my truck and hauled them off. When I returned, Freckles and Duke were still staring at me with those hope-filled eyes. What they wanted, only I could provide. They were helpless to help themselves.

I thought about my relationship with God. There are many times when I watch and wait while He works. I run out of words to say and actions to take as I feel helpless to help myself. God does a great job of running the world, and I watch in awe as He takes care of things. It is just that the things I am seeking don’t seem to happen. I refuse to whine because He provides so much for me. Still, it would be nice if He answered my prayer.

I went inside and ate a quick snack before throwing the dog box in the back of the truck. Joyful howling began. They were still watching. As soon as I opened the gate, they sprinted toward the garage, where I loaded them up before taking them for a run. We had a great time. I did for them what they could not do for themselves. God does the same for us.

Keep watching and waiting, Earl  

FBC Updates

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at:, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote
  • This Sundays Sermon “Hypocrites In The Church” Acts 4:36 – 5:11

The Foot That Walks You

Freckles pulled over into the grass. I paused so she could squat and relieve herself. Our walks always include multiple stops so she and Duke can mark their territory and let all the other dogs know that they have been in the neighborhood. Most of our journey occurs in the darkness as we make our way around town each morning. Duke has to “cover up” each mark that Freckles makes. He is not a very good shot.

I was made keenly aware of this fact when Freckles jumped up to give me a hug. As I gave her a few pets before we continued our trek, I felt moisture on the toe of my shoe. The porous mesh had done little to deter Duke’s errant attempt to leave his mark on top of Freckles’. I told him to quit and asked him what in the world he thought he was doing. He just jumped up to receive a few pets. I gave them.

As we made our way eastward, I had a thought. “Don’t be peeing on the foot that walks you!” It is a bit like “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” but a bit cruder. Sorry about that. Duke should have paid closer attention to encourage, rather than insult his master who always gets up early and takes him and his aunt for an extended walk. When someone treats you in a positive manner, it is smart to shower them with praise rather than…well, you know.

We should shower praise on God at all times for the good things He has done for us and the many blessings He has given us. We need to be intentional and specific as we tell Him what we are grateful for. We must never offend Him with our errant, negative statements. Paying attention goes a long way toward enabling us to consistently express gratitude to God.

The old hymn says it well: “Count your blessings, name them one by one Count your blessings, see what God hath done. Count your blessings, name them one by one And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” 

Let us be sincerely grateful and obviously thankful for the good things we have received from God.

Nancy washed my shoe, Earl 

FBC Updates

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at:, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote
  • This Sundays Sermon “The Heart of a Lion” Acts 4:23-34

We Can’t Fix It

I stopped by for a visit. She has been a widow for a few years. We talked about a multitude of things. I have always felt comfortable in their home, which is now her home. She paused before she commented on an issue that came up. I leaned in to hear what she had to say. When a godly woman, approaching her tenth decade on earth, has an insight to share, it is always good to listen.

“We can’t fix it.”

She continued to explain that many challenges in life had been far beyond her ability to fix them. She had no specific situation in mind. It had been her experience through the decades that God was the One who did the fixing while she patiently waited on Him to work.

Actually, that was part of the problem. She had not always been successful in waiting patiently for God to work. She mentioned how she tended to go down the “worry trail” of potential issues that might arise. I thought of myself when she mentioned being able to imagine all kinds of pain and hurt that would eventually be a reality if nothing changed.

“I just give it to God and trust Him.”

She laughed and confessed that she was not always successful in doing so. She did mention some specific situations she was currently praying about and trusting God with. Challenging issues never cease to travel with us as we journey through life. Neither does God. He remains faithfully devoted to His people. So, we wait on His timing while trusting His love, insight, and power.   

As we cast our cares on Him, He replaces our anxiety with His peace. He replaces our worry with His courage. He replaces our fear with His hope. He replaces our sadness with His joy. Only God can fix it. He will only fix it if we relinquish control of the issues and of our lives to Him. There will always be things in life that need to be fixed. We serve a God who can fix anything. Trust Him to fix things for you as you rest in Him without worrying about the future.

I love you, Earl  

FBC Updates

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at:, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM, The Coyote
  • This Sundays Sermon “Barabbas – Prisoner Set Free” A Dramatic Monologue Matthew 27:15-25

Never Quit

“Lynn said, “That is more than I got.’”

Nancy had just finished talking with our daughter late on Friday afternoon. I could only hear half of the conversation as I sat in the recliner and rested up from another wonderful day of quail hunting that included more walking than birds. We had quit early after logging only a little over eight miles. We ended up with three quail. I had heard Nancy telling Lynn that we had not done very well. Lynn’s response put some perspective on the situation.

Even though we had little to show for our efforts, we had something to show for our efforts. If we had stayed home and talked about the good ole’ days, we would not have found a bird. If we had convinced ourselves that since it was a down year we shouldn’t even waste our time walking, we would have missed out on the memories that accompany us every time we drop the tailgate and let the dogs out. We didn’t get many, but we got more than we would have gotten if we had never left the house. Three is not the same as twenty, but it is more than zero.

Some Christians convince themselves that they will never reach anyone for Christ, so they quit sharing their faith and quit serving their Lord. They may reminisce about the good ole’ days when people were being saved more frequently and ignore the neighbor across their street who needs Jesus today. They give up before they start. Jesus has commissioned us to be His witnesses and allow Him to determine whom He saves. No encounter with any person guarantees they will respond positively to Jesus. The only thing guaranteed is that if we never sow the seed of the gospel a harvest of souls will never be reaped.

We must position ourselves so that God can use us to reach people for His glory. We are simply doing our jobs of meeting needs, building bridges, sharing truth, and serving in the church. The results of those actions are up to God. Salvation is of the Lord! Obedience is up to us! Just because we see less results from our labors is no reason to take a leave of absence. We are laborers in God’s vineyard and must never quit doing our jobs. We will never know if we never go.

Your labor is never in vain, Earl

FBC Updates

  • Watch FBC Worship Services anytime after 9:00 a.m. Sunday on the website at:, on the First Baptist Church Facebook Page, on FBC Weatherford Media on YouTube, or listen at noon on 95.5 FM, The Coyote
  • This Sundays Sermon “Waiting On Heaven” II Peter 1:1-11

Remain Calm and Carry On

Farmers learn to lean on God in ways that most of us will never experience. They work hard and plan carefully but can neither control the weather nor determine the markets. There is a sense in which they partner with God Himself as they live their lives and raise their families. In theory, we all do the same. We all remain dependent on God. Farmers experience this reality more up close and personal.

I still remember the day when Daddy and I were loading up our fishing poles to go down on Elk Creek and try to catch some catfish. The rains the night before had caused the creek to rise, which caused the fish to bite as they made their way upstream in search of new sources of food that were appearing in abundance. Timing plays a huge role in most life events and that is certainly true of fishing on Elk Creek.

Momma came to the back door and informed daddy that someone had just called and informed her that the wheat “Down Yonder” had been hailed out during the storms that rolled through the night before. Harvest was only weeks away. Without hesitation, Daddy hopped into the pickup, as did I. We headed for the creek. No sense in crying over spilled milk or hailed-out wheat. Daddy remained calm and carried on. We never missed a meal.

As a church we must remain calm and carry on in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has interrupted life as we have known it. Thanks for being present this past Sunday and adjusting to the plates at the doors and the lack of traditional handshakes and snacks. We will continue doing our best to make FBC a germ-free zone.

Our new challenge is to maintain unity and momentum as a church without meeting together on Sundays. Expectations have escalated for us to do our part in controlling the spread of the coronavirus. We will post new sermons to our web site on Sundays at 9 a.m. These sermons can be watched at any time after they are posted. The sermons, along with worship music, will also be played on 95.5 F.M. each Sunday at noon. Many are planning to gather in homes and watch together. Why not invite others to watch with you? It sounds a lot like the early church!

Acts 2:42-47, Earl  

FBC Happenings

  • This Sunday’s Sermon – “Living With Grief”
  • LifeGroup Attendance on March 15 – 402

Farm Memories

After speaking at the CBA chapel service, I contacted a friend to see if he was home. On my way back to Weatherford, I planned to stop and enjoy his company. I am blessed with many friends whom I am always encouraged to spend time with. He was in the field hauling hay with his tractor but would be back to the home place in just a few minutes. He asked me to park on the south side of the shop and wait. I was glad to do so.

During the minutes I waited, I exited my truck and surveyed the equipment and supplies that were stored beneath the shed on the south side of the shop. I was especially impressed at the parallel parking job done with the old John Deere tractor that had forks on the front. There were several rolls of barbed wire on a couple of pallets. My mind raced back to my childhood. Building fence was never one of my favorite activities, but I did enjoy the time I spent with Daddy, as well as the variety of tasks required.

When Terry arrived, we went inside the shop, just as it began to rain. We discussed some significant issues related to God, country, and life. We laughed several times. The decibel level caused by the rain hitting the sheet iron roof escalated. I thought of Daddy’s barn, south of the house, where we retreated when the rain stopped the farming and the bricklaying. There is no sound like it – especially if it comes after the land has been dry for some time.

He was wearing coveralls, and I was wearing a coat. We were surrounded by implements and tools. One tractor was missing. I volunteered to take him to pick it up down south a few miles. How many times had I helped with tractor transfers during the days of my youth? Long before I was legal, Daddy had me driving out of necessity. Usually I followed right behind him. 

Our visit ended, and Terry stepped out to get in the tractor and drive it home. He checked the oil, just like Daddy taught me to always do. I noticed the tractor was pulling an off-set disc, just like the one I used to plow with back in the day. The tractor started, and I headed to Weatherford. I love life as God allows it to become. I also enjoy precious memories.

I love you, Earl

FBC Happenings

  • Sunday’s Sermon – “Facing the Funeral” John 11:17-37
  • LifeGroup Attendance on March 8 – 650
  • GriefShare this Sunday, March 15 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Spring Break is March 16-20. No Wednesday Activities that week.

Where To Hang Your Hat

“Never hang your hat on another person’s nail.”

My friend made this statement as we were discussing Biblical truth. Initially, I struggled to understand exactly what he was referring to as I thought of the utility room in the home where I was raised. There on the wall were multiple dowel rods protruding from the hat and coat rack Daddy had made to accommodate everyone. I didn’t build it, but I did use it daily. Mine were the hats with the largest circumference.

My friend explained that he was not talking about hats. He was talking about convictions. His explanation of his Southeastern Oklahoma parable aided me in my understanding, just like Jesus’ explanations of His parables helped the apostles understand. Most of us are slow learners. Illustrations that shed light on truth sometimes need a bit of clarification. Especially if you were raised on the opposite side of the state.

The apostle Paul uses this principle in Romans 14 while expounding on debatable issues like diet and special days. Today, many would refer to these as “wisdom issues.” These are things that are not specifically forbidden or affirmed in Scripture that genuine Christians disagree about.

“Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” (verse 5)

Never hang your hat on another person’s nail. Just because another genuine believer believes in and practices sober-minded drinking of alcohol is no reason for you to follow suite if you are not fully convinced that by God that it is okay to do so. The same could be said for activities on Sunday and watching certain kinds of movies. Wherever you land on debatable issues needs to be your decision as you are led by the Spirit of God. Do not merely imitate the behavior of others. Remain fully convinced in your own mind of the actions that you take.

We must remain aware that our actions affect others. Pride puffs up, but love builds up. I am aware of certain things that are not “forbidden” in scripture that cause great harm to many. I opt not to participate because, as a follower of Jesus, life is not about me. We are to do all that we do for the glory of God. If we cannot do what we do for the glory of God, we shouldn’t be doing it. We should hang our hat on God’s nail.

I love you, Earl

FBC Happenings

  • Sunday’s Sermon – “Hearing The News” II Samuel 12:15-23
  • LifeGroup Attendance on March 1 – 712
  • Daylight Saving Time Begins on Sunday, March 8. Be sure and turn your clocks forward one hour on Saturday evening.
  • GriefShare this Sunday, March 8 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • MEN OF GOD Prayer Breakfast is this Monday morning, March 9 at 6:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall
  • Women on Mission this Tuesday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall
  • Wednesday Evening Meal at 5:00 p.m. Frito Chili Pie

The Nicest Loser

Nancy and I have hosted a New Year’s Eve spade party every year for over a quarter of a century. It is a great party that requires set up and clean up, but very little else. The food preparation is shared by guests and Nancy. The card playing occupies the time spent together. No periods of awkward silence occur as spades are played by all. There is plenty of laughter shared by those who attend. Many of you have been our guests through the years.

Men and women play as partners determined by a drawing as we begin. We usually have three tables. Once we had five. Teams play until a team at one table reaches 250 points. At that time, everyone finishes their current hand and those with the winning scores move up, while those with the losing scores remain at their table and change partners. It sounds more complicated than it is. Usually Nancy fares much better than I do.

Not this year. I didn’t do anything great, but she never won a game. She began at the middle table and stayed at the middle table for four hours. During that time, she had different ones play on her team. I was one of them. None of us were able to conclude a game with the highest score. Nancy continued to smile and deal and bid and laugh and lose. It was just a game, and she didn’t get the cards necessary to win.

It was her party, and she could have cried if she wanted to – but she didn’t. There is a lot more to life than winning. Joy in life comes from healthy relationships and acts of service. Nancy is never more in her element than when she is hosting and serving, even if she is not winning at cards. She has always considered our home to be not only place of refuge but also a place of ministry. No one ever doubts how much you care when you share your home with them – even if they drub you in spades!

The most important noun in the English language is relationship, not victory. Any actions you take to include others in your life will bless them as well as yourself.

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Mark 8:35, Earl

FBC Happenings

  • Sunday’s Sermon – “Stand Up For Jesus” Acts 4:1-22
  • LifeGroup Attendance on February 23 – 663
  • All Church Pulled Pork & Baked Potato Feast is this Sunday, March 1 at 11:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center. Donations will be accepted for the upcoming Mission Trip to The Dominican Republic
  • GriefShare this Sunday, March 1 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Wednesday Evening Meal at 5:00 p.m. Chicken Strips

New Member

Mary Howard

Jesus Wept

Many a child has quoted the verse as a means of avoiding being shut out. When the teacher asks for the recitation of known verses, some boy or girl usually states, “Jesus wept.” They know neither the context nor the full meaning of the verse, but they can remember it. I am certain that I did the same thing more than once while growing up. When all verses count the same, why not quote the shortest one in the Bible?

Through the decades, this verse has grown to mean very much to me. Jesus wept while standing near Lazarus’ tomb, as the crowd harassed him for not doing more to keep his friend from dying. The tomb that held Lazarus was near other tombs that held other bodies. Think cemetery. Think grief. Think physical death. Think emotional pain. Jesus knew that it was only a matter of minutes before Lazarus would exit the grave and join his sisters for supper. Still, Jesus wept. Tears flowed down His face as the harsh reality of sins’ effect in this world ripped at the hearts of those He loved.

When I think of Jesus weeping, I am reminded of I Peter 5:7, which is a loose quotation of Psalm 55:22. “Casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” We are told to cast our anxieties onto Jesus because He actually cares for us. As He wept with Mary and Martha, He also joins with us in our time of pain. He does not condemn us for our sadness but supports us in our grief. Psalm 55:22 lists the reason for casting our cares on the Lord: “and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Many burdens in life are too heavy for us to carry. One of those burdens is grief. Jesus understands the overwhelming nature of burying a loved one in a cold, dark grave. Jesus understands the fact that we need His help. Jesus remains available and willing to help us as we grieve because He cares.

Beginning March 8, I will preach a four sermon series I have titled “Jesus Wept.” The sermons are titled: Hearing the News; Facing the Funeral; Living with Grief; and Waiting for Heaven. Jesus wept because Jesus cares.

So do I, Earl  

FBC Happenings

  • Sunday’s Sermon – “Another Short Sermon” Acts 3:12-26
  • LifeGroup Attendance on February 16 – 658
  • Membership Matters Class this Sunday, February 23 at 10:30 a.m. in the Parlor
  • GriefShare this Sunday, February 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • FBC Movie Night “OVERCOMER” this Sunday, February 23 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday Evening Meal at 5:00 p.m. Beans w/ Ham and Fried Potatoes

New Member

Cooper Null

Read the Instructions

Nancy reluctantly informed me that water was standing in the bottom of the dishwasher. Only two days earlier she had discovered water seeping out of the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink. We had diagnosed that problem as a dripping garbage disposal. After sopping up the mess and waiting for the stores to open, I had attempted the unthinkable and changed out my own garbage disposal!

Years ago I decided that for the sake of my own mental peace, as well as the health of my marriage, and the status of my bank account, I should always call a professional when it came to plumbing. I usually cost myself more money by trying to save money when it came to all things related to plumbing.

I did seek the advice of a professional. Scott Steinly assured me that I could change out the garbage disposal, as long as I purchased one with the same model number so that everything would line back up. I was excited to find the exact model number and begin the replacement. I found not one, but an entire shelf filled with the model number I needed. I made a mental note that this must happen quite frequently to many people.

 I cleared everything from beneath the sink and began the removal, followed by the replacement. I spilt a little water and struggled with one of the connections before calling Nancy into the kitchen to listen to the hum of the new disposal. Mr. fixit was back on his game!

Nancy and I both knew that somehow the water in the dishwasher was related to my plumbing job. I removed the dishwasher drain where it attached to the disposal and discovered that there was no drain hole. At that point I dug the directions I had not read from the recycling we keep in the garage. There, in black and white, it told what to do if you have a dishwasher. Use a screwdriver and hammer to remove the knock out plug in the side of the disposal. I won’t share all the details, but I did get to remove and reinstall the disposal.

I complicated my life by failing to read and heed the instructions. We do the same thing when we fail to read and heed the Bible. Many of life’s problems are self-inflicted by those who think they are smart enough to bypass God’s guidance.

Still learning, Earl  

FBC Happenings

  • Sunday’s Sermon – “Leaping in Church” Acts 3:1-11
  • LifeGroup Attendance on February 9 – 780
  • There will be a Come and Go to meet Seth Odam (Student Pastor Candidate) this Saturday, February 15 in the South Commons Area from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Observance of The Lord’s Supper this Sunday, February 16 at 9:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
  • GriefShare this Sunday, February 16 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • 55 & Up Potluck Dinner, February 18 at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall
  • Wednesday Evening Meal at 5:00 p.m. Baked Potato Bar