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Editorial: Baylor's ideals must top gridiron glory

Baylor University must attain the standards Texas Baptists who love it expect of it. A national championship or even a single game is not worth a rape. Baylor—and its ideals—are far bigger than football.

       
voteyes

Guest editorial: Count the “yes” votes in your church

Congregational leaders can allow naysayers to hold a church hostage. Instead, they should empower members who say yes.

       
FBC

Commentary: Confessions of a middle-aged pastor

Even during my middle-age years, I love serving as a pastor. I have the privilege of walking alongside folks from the moment of birth to the moment of death and all seasons in-between. — Barry Howard

       
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2nd Opinion: What I learned from the PTO

I have been guilty of being ungrateful for those who attend our church. ... I have been guilty of bemoaning culture without appreciating those who swim against it. The PTO helped me see the light.

       
offeringplate

Guest Editorial: What can wash away my sin?

Instead of hoping the poor will recognize my help and be grateful, I can say of my gift: “Thank you. This is not out of the goodness of my heart but out of my need for forgiveness.”

       
bivosmallchurch

Richard Ray: Every pastor needs an advocate

Every pastor needs the help of another who will provide assistance in his time of need. Simply put, every pastor needs help.

       
AnatomyMigraine

2nd Opinion: Blind spots and church migraines

Recognizing blind spots as symptoms of deeper issues is a first step toward treating the underlying ailments that keep us from becoming all Christ intended us to be.

       
Person taking a selfie

René Maciel: Longing to find our selfies

Maybe we take these photos because we are searching for ourselves. We want others to take notice. Can you see me? Whatever the reason, it has become a popular phenomenon in our culture, maybe even an epidemic of a search for self.

       
TexasCapitolDome

Editorial: Texas’ public education funding is constitutional, immoral

Texas children do not receive equal opportunity. Poor children and children whose parents speak little or no English suffer from substandard education.

       
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Commentary: Seven things I’m learning about transgender people

Science reveals nature undeniably plays a role in the development of transgender people, reports Mark Wingfield, associate pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas. (BNG)

       
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Russell Moore: The real meaning of transgender bathrooms

The U.S. Department of Education's decision to demand public-school bathroom access on the basis of self-idenity rather than biological sex rescripts the most basic human intuitions about humanity as male and female, Russell Moore says.

       
letters

Letters: Politics, politics, politics, politics, pope

Loud on Trump; quiet on Clinton

I'm pretty tired of the apparently liberal Baptist Standard feeling that this anything negative about Trump is worthy of news is worthy of news but how very quiet you have been concerning our president that lies continually and Hillary Clinton that feels she is above the law of the land.

Maybe you just need to report on the mission of the church and what is going on for the good of the gospel, however boring you may think that is.

Mickey Lofton

Beeville

Biblical principles counter Democratic platform

I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but in your editorial asking which map does a Christian follow, I think we could agree that we both know Christians who are Democrats. I strongly agree with Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council, “America will not be saved by an elephant or a donkey; it will be saved by a Lamb.”

However, there are clear and unambiguous biblical principles that run counter to the Democratic party platform. For example, protecting gay rights, same-sex marriage and a woman's right to have an abortion are not subject to biblical interpretation.

No interpretation needed!

Anson Nash

Corpus Christi

Seeking attention

Regarding Russell Moore’s Twitter comment about Donald Trump: When you’re president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s do-nothing Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, you have to say something to get some attention.

I can hardly wait for his twitters about Obama and the Clintons.

C.C. Risenhoover

Granbury

No Huckabee, so Trump

When a rare diamond of political candidate appears who is a near-genius (four-year degree in two and one-half years with a 4.0 GPA), integrity, 10 years successfully governing and earning two landslide victories, cleaned up corruption, took Arkansas from debt to a surplus, where were the Southern Baptists cheering for such an ideal Christian candidate like Gov. Mike Huckabee? We heard stunning silence with a handful of exceptions!

However, when politicians do their dirt- tricks campaigning to earn the Iowa caucus, and the voters reject Huckabee, there was again stunning silence. When America narrows the candidates to two—Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—then we hear many Baptists loudly sound their dismay that Trump ends up being America’s candidate of choice!  

Why the stunning silence about the long-questionable events in the career of Hillary Clinton, who tells Baptists our "deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed," including abortion, same-sex marriage and transgender bathrooms. This violates our Bill of Rights, which gives us the freedom to preach the gospel! Clinton wants to appoint maybe as many as up to 5 Supreme Court Justices  to complement her agenda that will destroy our Bill of Rights !

I do not understand it.

I’m frankly more afraid of Hillary Clinton than I am of Donald Trump as president! Trump wants to rebuild the greatness of America we have lost. Trump is not as strong on the social issues as I would like, but is far stronger than Clinton! I like the sound of restoring the greatness of America and many things he advocates !

The reality is the American voters have spoken! We had the opportunity to vote for our first choice, but we were out-voted. Our ballots will contain either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump! 

Richard Land said, “I’m not voting for Donald Trump! I’m voting against Hillary Clinton” when he casts his vote for President Donald Trump!

Voice it any way you like, but I like the sound of President Donald Trump far better than President Hillary Clinton! However, I’ll respect my brothers in Christ who disagree with me!

Jerry Woods

Finger, Tenn.

Equality for women

Pope Francis is thinking about starting a commission that would study whether or not women can become deacons in the Roman Catholic Church.

Catholic deacons are like ministers, but they are not priests. This is a small step in the right direction, but it doesn't go far enough.

Every Catholic woman should have the right to become a priest, bishop, cardinal or pope. Women should have the exact same legal, political and religious rights as men.

I wonder if the Mormon Church will think about allowing women to become deacons as well. 

Chuck Mann

Greensboro, N.C.

       
intouch

In Touch: Churches, Congreso, golf, floods, BaptistWay, leadership

Kathleen and I had a great time at Blue Ridge Baptist Church near Marlin as the congregation celebrated its annual May Day. This annual singing has been going on since 1887. Thanks to Pastor Darin Davis for the invitation.

david hardage 130David HardageI also had a great time preaching at First Baptist Church in Denton. Pastor Jeff Williams was a gracious host. I enjoyed attending the groundbreaking ceremony for an adult conference center at Latham Springs Camp and the fund-raising banquet at the University of North Texas Baptist Student Ministry

I also had the privilege of attending Congreso, where more than 300 professions of faith in Jesus were made in just one night alone. Thanks to Joshua del Riscio for his great leadership and to our Great Commission Team, led by Delvin Atchison, and to everyone who had a part in this time of evangelism and discipleship.

texas baptist voices right120Our 2016 Texas Baptist Golf Classic was a great success. We had 262 golfers show up on a beautiful day to play at the Dallas Athletic Club. This tournament would not be possible without the help of all our sponsors. Funds raised will go to our Texas Baptist Counseling Services. Special thanks to our sponsors:

• Title: BCFS

• Platinum: Baptist Credit Union

• Gold: HighGround Advisors

• Silver: Dallas Baptist University, East Texas Baptist University, Truett Theological Seminary, Bruner Auto Family, Austin Baptist Association and Saville, Dodgen and Company

Thanks also to all our hole sponsors and to everyone who played! 

In recent days, spring floods affected a number of communities in Southeast Texas. Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery will be looking to assist with long-term recovery efforts in the area. You can support the work by donating to Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery at our website.

Faith > Fear is the newest Connect 360 Bible study from BaptistWay Press. This study explores the causes and consequences of fear and suggests remedies for defeating fear through faith in God and his word.

We are in the process of recruiting cohort No. 2 for Leadership Texas Baptists. The first cohort has been a great success for both us and the participants. The link to participate is now live and can be found on its website. Please share this with your networks, and let me know if you have a good candidate. The focus this time is 21- to 35-year-olds to strengthen up-and-coming leaders. 

Every June, Texas Baptists honor two individuals who have left a legacy and are continuing to leave one through their everyday lives. This year, we are pleased to present Sam W. Prestidge Jr., founder of Singing Men of Texas, and Tillie Burgin, founder of Mission Arlington, with Texas Baptist Legacy Awards. These outstanding individuals will be honored Sunday, June 5, at Independence Baptist Church near Brenham at 10 a.m., with a lunch to follow.  If you wish to attend the ceremony and lunch, contact Becky Brown at (214) 828-5301.

David Hardage is executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board.

       
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Ray: Don’t miss the 30th Small Church Conference

To those serving on the small-church mission field, I invite you and your church to attend two wonderful events on the campus of Dallas Baptist University July 15-16.

richard ray130Richard RayOn July 15, we invite pastor and their congregations to a banquet honoring Texas Baptist small churches and those called to serve on the small-church mission field. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a catered meal, followed by the gospel sounds of The Hubbards.

Our keynote speaker will be author Terry Caffey, who will share his story of the brutal Texas murders that destroyed his family and restored his faith, while shocking the nation. His story will encourage you and your church, while strengthening your faith in Christ. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) will take on a completely new meaning in your life.

texas baptist voices right120On July 16, we invite pastors and their servant leaders to attend the 30th annual Texas Baptist Small Church Conference. You and your servant leaders will have the opportunity to be encouraged, engaged and educated in the following areas:

• “Biblical Interpretation of Both the Old and New Testament”

• “How to Reach Youth for Christ”

• “Sermon Preparation From Text to Sermon”

• “Certificate of Ministry Program”

• “Small Church/Big Worship”

• “Launching a Children’s Program in Your Church”

• “Minister’s Wife Engaged”

During the Saturday lunch, you will receive a cater meal along with entertainment by Christian humorist Lyndy Phillips, “Laugh with Lyndy.”

I encourage you to mark these dates on your calendar. You do not want to miss this special gathering of those who have been called to serve on the small-church mission field.

Registration is open. Click here to register and to view the complete conference schedule.

Free on-campus housing is available.

If you would like any additional promotional material, please contact us. We are here to serve you as you serve the Lord. Remember, the Lord has called you to serve, but he has not called you to serve alone. Visit our website for more information on how the Bivocational/Small Church Association can minister to and serve you. For more information, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for Tri-Rivers Baptist Area.

       
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Maciel: Mother provides example of God’s love

This year is moving along so fast. It seems like only yesterday that 2016 was beginning. Now it’s May! Where did those four months go?

rene maciel headshot130René MacielI have been extremely busy at work, attending convention meetings, teaching at my church, training for running events and trying to take care of my big yard. One addition to my calendar is preaching at different churches throughout our convention, which I thoroughly enjoy much more than taking care of my yard. I guess the year is moving fast because I am moving fast.

I thank God he made me a high-energy person, always on the go. I like being busy, but I also realize I really do take life and all God has given me for granted at times. There are also times God has to slow us down—to take some time, to enjoy the moments, to stop and smell the roses. And when we finally do take those moments to focus and be still and be quiet, then we understand he is watching over our every step, like a mother cares for us.

texas baptist voices right120The Apostle Paul gave us a wonderful picture of a mother who cares for her children. It’s an example of how we are to care for others, with tenderness and compassion. It’s a picture of God's care for us. He wrote these words: “Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you” (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8).

In spite of all of our busyness, God cares for us and watches over us. Even when we take life for granted and our lives are moving fast, he holds me and comforts me and reminds me I am his child. For me, he has shown his care and reminded me of his love by the incredible mother he gave me. She has shown me how to care for others, how to nurture and watch over them, how to hold them and feed them, how to listen and speak to them, and, most importantly, how to teach them about God's great love.

I can think of no greater way God has cared for me than with the mother he has given me. It was my mom who first took me to church. She was the one who brought the church into my life, and therefore opened my life to God and his care. Even as she is about to turn 92, she still wants to cook my favorite meal and cake when I go see her. She still is caring and still a constant reminder that even in my fast-paced life, God cares for me.

I love you, Mom. Thank you for your example of God's care for me.

René Maciel is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and president of Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio.

       
 
 

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