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FIRST-PERSON: No spiritual participation trophies

CHATSWORTH, Ga. (BP) – At the end of the season in youth league sports, everybody gets a trophy. From the first-place team to the last-place team, the coach hands every kid a shiny piece of plastic that says, "thanks for playing."

FIRST-PERSON: Pietà

EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) – “Pietàs” – sculptures of Mary grieving over her crucified Son – were so called because of the meaning of pietà in Italian: “compassion.” Other English words for pietà are “mercy, pity, and piety,” all of which are conveyed when one gazes upon Michelangelo’s Pietà.

FIRST-PERSON: Thoughts on (soul) winning with Bobby Bowden

“Is winning everything?” I asked. “No. But winning is important. If you don’t win, they fire you,” replied Coach Bowden.

FIRST-PERSON: Civility is not enough

NASHVILLE (BP) – I visibly cringe every time the word “civility” is used around me. I hate it. On the face of it, “civility” is one of those things that everyone supports – like “patriotism” or “family” or “honor.” But our civility is often limited to whether or not we agree with the other person. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I am repelled by the word “civility” because it aspires to too little. We are called not to mere civility, but beyond civility to kindness. 

Southern Baptists, think carefully about your ways

NASHVILLE (BP) – Since the end of February 2020, I have carried a deep and increasing burden about the following things:

FIRST-PERSON: Why I’ll never forget 9/11

As I raised my right hand the morning of Sept. 7, 2001, and once again took the oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, I was hopeful that rejoining the military would help get my life straightened up.

FIRST-PERSON: The election and beyond

DULUTH, Ga. (BP) – In the course of my day, I have a list of the things that need to get done, divided into areas of urgency. They’re all important, but depending on deadlines and other factors, some get precedence. They’re just too important to ignore.

FIRST-PERSON: Homeschooling rings our bell

NASHVILLE (BP) – It was a tough decision.  For several weeks, my wife and I talked about it at great length. We prayed about it, sweated over it and, occasionally, I will admit, flip-flopped on it. 

FIRST-PERSON: To this vision, I give my life. Will you join me?

NASHVILLE (BP) – As Great Commission Baptists, we are compelled with the vision to reach every person for Jesus Christ in every town, every city, every state and every nation. Our 51,000 congregations that comprise the Southern Baptist network of churches do our best work when we cooperate in presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and make disciples of all the nations.

FIRST-PERSON: The unfinished task

AUSTIN, Texas (BP) -- At Hyde Park Baptist Church, we are “rolling out the red carpet” for the 22nd annual meeting of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. This year our convention will look different, due to the challenges presented by COVID-19. We will observe the protocols of physical distancing and hand sanitizing, and we will encourage masks – but the convention will still be an excellent opportunity for our Southern Baptists of Texas churches to worship together, fellowship and accomplish our business.