First Person

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FIRST-PERSON: You gotta have friends

“Friendship seems as necessary an element of a comfortable existence in this world as fire or water, or even air itself,” Charles Spurgeon wrote.

FIRST-PERSON: Grieving with hope

Grief. I’m not sure that I ever really understood grief until the last few months. It is one of those emotions you can read about, study or discuss but can’t really understand until you personally experience it. After losing my wife to pancreatic cancer seven months ago, I’m still coming to terms with what it means to grieve.


At our annual meeting in 2023, SBC messengers passed the first approval of a constitutional amendment (what’s come to be known as the “Law Amendment”), which states that the Convention will only deem a church to be in friendly cooperation with the Convention which: “Affirms, appoints, or employs only men as any kind of pastor or elder as qualified by Scripture.”

FIRST PERSON: Sowing Gospel seed in small-town Missouri

I’m guessing you have a town like Chula somewhere around you. With a grand total of 200 people in population, Chula has a post office, a community center, a school, and not much else. I grew up about 15 minutes away in the mega-city of Chillicothe (population 9,100).

FIRST-PERSON: What about churches with female children’s pastors?

In a previous essay “Responding to Opposition to the Law Amendment,” there was one objection that I did not address but that I have been hearing from different quarters of the SBC for some time now.

FIRST-PERSON: Yes, He Gets Us.  Do we get Him?

While 123.7 million Americans watched the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, many saw the “He Gets Us” commercial, which stated that “Jesus didn’t teach hate.  He washed feet.” 

FIRST-PERSON: You mean it’s GOD who has been speaking to me? ‘

Not everyone knows about Jesus.  It still surprises me to find that to be true.  While I grew up going to Sunday and Wednesday church services, Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, countless others did not. 

FIRST-PERSON: One pastor’s plan for cooperative ministry

When the search committee for FBC Mayfield contacted me in December of 2010, one of my first requests was for a copy of the church budget.

FIRST-PERSON: Emmett Till and empathy

Wrapped in a bronze-colored metal lattice, with a structure fashioned after the three-tiered crowns used in Yoruban art from West Africa, the National Museum of African American History and Culture covers five acres on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This Smithsonian museum opened to the public on Sept. 24, 2016, 87 years after Congress approved the project.

FIRST-PERSON: A message of hope

Mental health and wholeness are important topics to me. God has helped me so much and used people in my life to lift me from anxiety and depression, and I love to help others come out of their doldrums. So many in our world are depressed and in desperate need of hope.