Southwest Baptist University trustees are displaying wisdom. Their hiring of a world-class executive search firm like CarterBaldwin to assist in the search for the school’s 26th president is a smart move. Missouri Baptists should have great confidence in the trustees and ex officio members of the Presidential Search Committee. CarterBaldwin will greatly assist in what will be a nation-wide search. The firm’s experience in dealing with evangelical institutions will be invaluable.
In addition, the trustees are scheduled to host three listening sessions, April 26, one each for administration, faculty and students. The trustees attempt to reach out to the three groups is laudable.
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There has been much written about the so-called Equality Act. This horrible piece of legislation which attacks religious freedom and the lives of the unborn was passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. However, it is not likely to garner enough votes for passage in the U.S. Senate.
Could we see something similar in Missouri? Doubtful. While the homosexual lobby continues to push for passage of a similar type of law with the Missouri Non-discrimination Act (MONA), it is doubtful that it will make it to the floor of the House or Senate. It does not appear to be a legislative priority with leaders in both the Republican controlled House and Senate.
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If someone asked me to articulate my approach to public policy, Princeton professor Robert George gave an excellent answer in a recent interview with the Witherspoon Institute that expresses my views exactly:
“Remember, our job is to be faithful – ever faithful – standing boldly and fighting for what’s right; the victory will surely come, but its timing and terms are not up to us. The victory will come in God’s time and on his terms. We must stick to doing our job and not try to do His. We are merely His instruments. So, however dark things may seem, never yield to despair. Leave the timing and terms of the victory to God. Be faithful – ever faithful.”
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I recently went home to Nashville, Tenn., and mom surprised me with something I had long-forgotten. She handed me three pages of old notebook paper. Torn and faded, they featured the scribbling of the first “sermon” I ever preached – 49 years ago. I was 16-years-old.
It was during a special service held at our church for graduating high school seniors. It was in the church, built by my grandfather, where I was saved and baptized at age 10. Many years later mom told me the day I was saved that our pastor told her that he felt God would call me to ministry.
So, on that special occasion honoring my graduating class, here is a morsel of what I preached:
“Now if there be one here tonight who may not know Jesus as your personal savior, now is the time to do it. It does not matter how clean a life you live if you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your savior. Jesus said, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Of course, these are Paul’s words, but Jesus affirmed this truth.)
I’ll stop there. Maybe not the most articulate, but theologically correct and not bad for a 16-year-old who was scared to death standing in a pulpit for the first time.
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I hope you will participate in this year’s National Day of Prayer events May 6 throughout Missouri. I am blessed to serve as the coordinator and emcee of this year’s program in The Rotunda of the State Capitol. Gov. Mike Parson and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft have committed to attend. Our guest speaker will be former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.
The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. Congress established the National Day of Prayer as an annual event by a joint resolution. It was signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1952. The law was amended in 1988, designating the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer. It was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.
Every year since, local, state, and federal observances have been held from sunrise in Maine to sunset in Hawaii, uniting Americans from all socio-economic, political and ethnic backgrounds in prayer for our nation.
The event at the State Capitol is set for noon. It is free and open to the public. I hope to see you there!