A rambling mind offers some random thoughts
I do not work for interim Executive Director David Tolliver, so I can say this without looking like I’m trying to gain his favor. I doubt there is anyone who knows Missouri Baptist life better than Tolliver. His knowledge of this Convention’s history and present circumstance along with the fact that he is widely respected and well-liked by the Baptist Building staff, ought to serve him well. His integrity is beyond reproach and he’s a pretty fair “country preacher,” too. All Missouri Baptists ought to feel good about the Executive Board’s election of Tolliver as interim and we should keep him in our prayers.
Spring has sprung and perhaps it’s a good time to see if your marriage is blooming. Brent Sparks of Hollister, who is the intensive lead therapist at the National Institute of Marriage, offers some scripturally based advice for strengthening marriages.
He suggests we consider the following questions before offering three things that can make a marriage even stronger.
1. What am I investing in my marriage that provides opportunity for growth?
2. Am I doing anything that might stymie things from blooming?
3. What could I start doing differently today-a kind word to my spouse, helping out with something important to them, discovering his/her love language, sharing my day with my spouse, etc.?
Sparks then offers three things to keep in mind as you get ready to address those questions:
• Don’t try to prepare your spouse’s soil unless invited to help (see Matthew 7:3-5).
• Join together to prepare the relationship soil. James 1:19 suggests some great relational advice, “…be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
I got a peek at this year’s provisional program for the Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) annual meeting at Tan-Tar-A. Without giving away any secrets before we’re authorized, suffice it to say that it will include a variety of music — from contemporary to Southern Gospel, and dynamic speakers from noted authors to well known fire-and-brimstone orators. It is no secret, however, that the convention sermon this year will be preached by Rodney Albert, chairman of the MBC’s Christian Life Commission and pastor of Hallsville Baptist Church. Albert is an outstanding expositor of Scripture who got rave reviews for his sermon at the MBC’s Legislative Prayer Service in January. Be in prayer for the annual meeting and make plans to be at Tan-Tar-A Oct. 29-31.
The April 21 death of Lt. Commander Kevin J. Davis, 32, of Pittsfield, Mass., brought back some sad memories of my days in the U.S. Air Force. Davis, a member of the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels air demonstration team, was killed at the end of an air show in Beaufort, S.C., when his F-18A Hornet jet fighter plunged to the ground in a fiery crash.
The Air Force has a similar team called The Thunderbirds (they are scheduled to perform at the Kansas City Air Show in August). Like the Thunderbirds in 1986, I was a member of the now defunct Tactical Air Command. I’ll never forget Jan. 18, of that year when four of The Thunderbirds, while practicing a loop in their famous diamond formation, crashed into the Nevada desert. In short, there was a malfunction with the control stick of the lead Thunderbird. He did not pull up in time. The other three, having to place their trust in the lead pilot, simply followed him into the ground.
Blue Angel and Thunderbird pilots are considered “the best of the best.“ Their precision flying is unmatched. Despite their incredible training, outstanding ability and courage, they are not perfect. Since they were created in 1953, 20 Thunderbird pilots have been killed. Since the Blue Angels were created in 1946, 26 pilots have met their deaths. The death of Davis and the other 45 from both teams reminds me of a timeless truth. Psalm 89:47a: “Remember how short my time is.”
I would like to express publicly my appreciation to The Pathway staff. The Pathway recently won three awards from the Baptist Communicators Association (see the story on page 1) and none would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the entire staff. They make it happen and just drag me along for the ride. Speaking of dragging, I’m going to take some vacation time, so my column will not appear in the next issue, but return in two issues. When I return, it will be time to mark my fifth anniversary as editor of The Pathway. It is – and remains – a blessing to serve God in this capacity. Thank you Pathway subscribers for your encouragement and continued prayers.