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November 28, 2017, 10:07 AM

3 Words Kids Need to Hear Every Day


By Dr. Joshua Straub


I have a confession. I’m “Downer Daddy” lately. I can only imagine what my kids might say about me during the day.

“Dad’s no fun.”
“We can’t do anything.”
“He’s a nag.”

Though hyperbole, you likely feel the same way I do. Just think about the phrases we use every day. More often than not, I catch myself telling my kids:

“Stop it.”

Here are a few just in the past 24 hours:

• Don’t hit your brother.
• Don’t poke your sister in the face.
• Don’t lick the blocks.
• Don’t pick your nose.
• Don’t eat your boogies.
• Don’t put your carrot between your toes.
• Don’t talk so loudly.
• Don’t spit out your food.
• Don’t stand on the chair.
• Don’t spray me with the hose.
• Don’t lick your fingers.

I could go on. As parents, we certainly have no trouble using the words: no, stop, and don’t on a daily basis.

I’m not saying that our kids don’t need boundaries. Nevertheless, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. If all you heard every day from your boss or spouse were words of what you shouldn’t be doing, you’d feel pretty beaten up too.

Since we default so often to telling our kids what they’re not doing right, here are three words we should use every day to help them understand how crazy we are about them, in spite of their behavior.

1. Love 
My dad went to be Jesus this past November. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard grown men and women tell me since then how lucky I was to have a dad who told me everyday that he loved me. The heart cry for so many adult children today is that they just wish their mom or dad would have told them, “I love you.”

The only other way you can go wrong in telling your child “I love you,” is if you blatantly don’t follow it up by your actions. Think Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar. 

Though none of us will ever love our children as much as we wish we could this side of heaven, our kids need to hear “I love you” every day.

2. Proud 
Many believe the problem with parenting today is overpraising parents who raise kids to believe they’re special. Like anything, this is true for a segment of parents. In its extreme, we may tell our kids how proud we are of their performance when, in reality, it was flat out awful. In this case, refer back to Liar Liar.

Yet, not all parents coddle their children. And even for those who do, telling our kids, “I’m proud of you,” is not coddling them. Our children need to hear every day how proud we are of them.

Therefore, to best use the word “proud” with your kids, be specific about what you’re proud of that day. When we tuck our kids in bed at night we’ll say things like:

• “I’m proud of you today for giving half of your chocolate treat to your sister, even though you didn’t have to.”

• “I’m proud of you today for being brave enough to go into your classroom all by yourself.”

3. Being 
Every day I tell our kids how much I love being their Daddy. Christi, as their Mummy, does the same.

The word being is a great word for our kids to hear because it shows our unconditional love for them just for who they are. Being is not tied to anything they do—or don’t do.

In addition, there are a number of other ways this can be said.

• “I love playing trains with you.”
• “My favorite part of the day was playing dollhouse with you.”
• “I loved being with you at the game today.”
• “I can’t wait to go swimming with you this weekend.”

In other words, what our kids hear is: “I love being with you.”

I can picture the love and being of Jesus in Mark 10:16 as he took the little children in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. He blessed them not because of anything they had done or not done, but because of what he was about to do on the cross.

Tonight, rest in knowing that you too don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love. And like a child, be with your kids.

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July 8, 2017, 3:34 PM

When God writes your Instagram handle


 I came late to the social media game because technology really intimidates me.

I now begrudgingly acknowledge, however, what a great tool social media can be to help connect with people, encourage them, share about Jesus and equip and disciple others, so I have jumped on the bandwagon. First Facebook, then Twitter, then Instagram -- each time I signed up because those apps opened doors for me to connect with students, friends and colleagues.

Can I tell you what has stressed me out a bit each time I have opened a new social media account? The description of myself!

I find it fascinating to read how other people define themselves, but how did I want to define myself? What kind of image would those carefully chosen adjectives and nouns project to the world? Too serious? Not serious enough? Each appellation selected contributes to an identity I am trying to communicate. So, for example, here is my Instagram description:

Candi Finch

Christ follower, lover of bacon & used bookstores, Assistant Professor of Theology in Women's Studies @southwesternseminary.

I was trying to go for a mix of professionalism and humanness. Recently, though, in rereading C.S. Lewis' classic work "Mere Christianity," I have been reminded that as a believer what matters is how God defines me, not how I define myself. Lewis writes, "But the question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what He intended us to be when He made us. He is the inventor, we are only the machine. He is the painter, we are only the picture."

This quote got me thinking. What would my social media handle look like if I let God define me?

Since He is the painter, I wondered what God's Word said about the picture He is painting in my life. As you know, the Word of God has plenty to say about a Christian's identity. Here are just some of the ways believers are identified in the Bible:

Candi Finch

Forgiven, redeemed, holy and dearly loved child of God,

A saint and citizen of heaven,

A conqueror and new creation,

Set free and complete,

Friend of God.

To expand on these:


-- Forgiven and Redeemed: "In him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Ephesians 1:7).


-- Holy and Dearly Loved: "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Colossians 3:12).


-- Child of God: "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26).


-- Saint: "To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours" (1 Corinthians 1:2).


-- Citizen of Heaven: "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).


-- Conqueror: "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).


-- New Creation: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Corinthians 5:17).


-- Set Free: "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).


-- Complete: "… and in Him you have been made complete" (Colossians 2:10a).


-- Friend of God: "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you" (John 15:15).


This list obviously is quite different than "lover of bacon and used bookstores" but it does reflect my identity in Christ. If you know Christ, these descriptors are true of you as well. Savor each word. Meditate on the truths of those verses. Don't let your eyes run over that list without the importance of each identifier grabbing hold of your heart. Even though our behavior does not always match our identity, these words do describe how the Creator of the universe looks at His children.


Think what a difference it would make if you and I reflected the truth of our identity in the way we lived today.


Remember, we are just paintings in the Master Painter's hands. I pray each of us will "live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10).


Candi Finch is assistant professor of theology in women's studies and Dorothy Kelley Patterson Chair of Women's Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.



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June 19, 2017, 10:21 AM

Fatherhood – The Least Understood Profession


Most humans seem to perceive fatherhood as having exhausted itself at the end of a moment of intimacy with a member of the opposite gender. The male member of the species bows out since the conception inside the woman’s womb is thought to be “part of her body” and therefore of no consequence to him. Little difference is made for the man if the conceived baby is terminated in the womb or born into a fatherless existence. In fact “sperm banks” now make even his presence in conception totally unnecessary. How different the picture of fatherhood is in the Scriptures! And this loss of the concept of fatherhood introduces pandemonium into the entire human system, including an accurate comprehension of God as Father.  For purposes of this blog, the idea of fatherhood encompasses four unique perspectives. Fatherhood includes provision, protection, prudence, and the precepts of God. As anyone can see, this is a long-term assignment more challenging than climbing Mount Everest without oxygen. What do these assignments imply?

•    Provision suggests a job, an income to purchase food and clothing with hopefully something small left over to buy a ticket to March Madness or to take a vacation. Medical bills, taxes, and college will require the remainder and the man will have provided. Undoubtedly, that is all a part of provision – but only a part. Provision also includes passing on to children how to subsist in a difficult and expensive world. Each child must be taught a trade or develop a talent needed by others as provision for his own life. The teen must learn to walk with God who alone can provide for him in all circumstances. And he must see all of these attitudes and actions modeled by his father.

•    Protection is something about which men like to boast. That is why I keep an arsenal at home in the gun safe. No one is about to hurt my family. This I do not denigrate. The assignment from God to fathers is to protect the physical well-being of the family. But many a father lives his whole life without having to engage a physical threat to the personal lives of his family. Nevertheless, he must protect!  On his knees he earnestly intercedes with God for his family. His instruction includes the ways of peace and conflict avoidance. And when peace is not possible and conflict is unavoidable, then he must teach his children how to protect themselves and how to look to God for his intervention.

Protection includes assisting vulnerable young minds in grasping the real enemies who would destroy them: sex outside of God’s boundaries, pharmacological misuse, alcohol, slavery to money, and selfishness. A predilection for entertainment and addiction to electronics must not only be met with “no” but with substitutes that provide better substance for life.

•    Prudence is wisdom in all things relating to God and to life. Many attitudes are learned by children from their mothers. But wisdom or prudence is a virtue specifically delegated to fathers and grandfathers. Proverbs 1:1-7 clarifies the responsibilities of fathers. Wisdom or virtue underscores the development of justice, judgment, and equity on the part of the simple who need prudence. And if a child is wise, he will increase learning.

•    Finally, the precepts of God are to be modeled and taught. The work of priest and prophet is important as would be the role of pastor in the present age, but the primary responsibility for spiritual instruction outlined in Deuteronomy 6 falls completely to fathers and grandfathers. Ostensibly, they have more time with the children. Therefore, they are assigned the task of teaching the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments. They are told how to pursue this task and the extent of the instruction to be given.

A child with a father who meets these criteria grows up with a healthy view of the fatherhood of God, and he also enjoys a relationship with his earthly father that assists him in becoming a natural leader in his world. If you have a father who leads his family in this way, you have every reason to express gratitude to God on this Father’s Day. And work to be sure your son grows up understanding the responsibilities he will have on the day he fathers a child.

Article written by Dr. Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern Theological Seminiary in Fort Worth.

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June 15, 2017, 7:05 PM

Youth Minister Candidate

Church Family,
For the last eleven months we have been accepting resumes for our next youth minister. We have posted this position with Southwestern Seminary, Criswell College, The SBTC Texan and Truett Seminary. Until recently, we had not received any resumes.  We did receive one, not too long ago. After much prayer and two interviews, the personnel committee and I want to bring Nathan and Robin Berry to the church, for consideration as our next youth minister.
Nathan is currently a student at Truett Seminary working on his Master of Arts in Christian Ministry.  Originally Nathan is from Abilene, where he has served churches as youth minister.  Nathan’s wife, Robin, will begin to teach Fourth grade in the fall at Clifton ISD.  They currently live here in Waco.
Please mark your calendar for Saturday, July 1. We will have a meet and greet with the Berry’s from 10–11 am in the Fellowship Hall.  It will be an informal come and go time of fellowship.  Nathan will preach In View of a Call on Sunday, July 9.  The personnel committee and I have invited them, as their schedule allows, to come during Vacation Bible School week so they can begin to connect with our young people.
Please know that just because we hire a youth minister this does not mean our work is finished with the youth.  We are still going to need volunteers to help with activities, Wednesday nights, camp counselors and other things that might come up. It is all of our jobs to reach the next generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ, not just the youth minister’s job.  I am thrilled about the Adopt a Grandparent Initiative that will be coming in August, along with other exciting things that are coming.
For the past eleven months, Rick and Kristie Bryant have done an outstanding job with our youth.  They have grown our program, not just numerically, but spiritually.  Rick will continue helping alongside of Nathan and Robin (if approved by the church) in our youth ministry.  Do not forget we will still need you too.
Please pray about your involvement in our children’s and youth programs this fall.  We can use you. 
Please be praying with the personnel committee and I that God will confirm to us as a church that Nathan and Robin are the right ones for the job.
All for Jesus,
Bro. James
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May 23, 2017, 11:11 AM

Our Church Is Growing


Our church is growing. Because of this we are currently looking for qualified people to fill the following positions:

Part Time Assistant Nursery Coordinator:  

The Part Time Assistant Nursery Coordinator is responsible to the Pastor to ensure the nursery is a secure, nurturing environment where each child will see, hear, and feel the love of Jesus Christ and parents can feel confident their child will receive the highest quality of care and ministry.  This position should require a minimum of 5 hours per week (Sunday School (1 hour), Sunday Morning (1 ½ hour) worship, Sunday Night (1 hour) and Wednesday Night 1 ½ hour)).  The hours may fluctuate depending on if we have specials meetings. Salary $3,600 annually ($300 a month)


Part Time Assistant Pastor:

First Baptist Church of Gholson seeks a part time Assistant Pastor.  The Assistant Pastor will work with the pastor to plan, promote, coordinate, direct, and evaluate a comprehensive ministry within the church directed at all age groups.  


Part Time Youth Minister:

The Part Time Youth Minister must be a born again believer and will be subject to the guidelines laid out in I and II Timothy and Titus as a called Minister.  This position should require a minimum of 5 hours per week (Sunday School, Sunday Morning, Sunday Night and Wednesday Night. Also, youth camp, Vacation Bible School and by monthly activities). The Youth Minister will direct and evaluate a comprehensive ministry within the church directed toward Youth and Families that fosters discipleship and spiritual growth.  


For more information or to submit your resume please email or call/text James Stevens at 254-709-7273. 

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