Privileged

I was raised with privilege. My privilege had nothing to do with the color of my skin and everything to do with the integrity of my parents. The parents who raised me provided me with a privileged start in becoming the man I am and enjoying the life I live. Their wise choices, high expectations, and sacrificial actions positively impacted my life.

Momma and Daddy got married and stayed married. She was out of high school, and he was out of the navy when they tied the knot at the Mount Tee Pee Baptist Church. “Tiny” and “Sonny” married before they moved in together. Their commitment was before God and to one another. I came along less than two years later and became the first of four children to join their family. We lived in an old frame farmhouse that Daddy renovated multiple times. I don’t think we were poor. At least, we never felt poor.

Momma and Daddy lived their faith and took us to church. Both of them served in multiple ways in the small Baptist churches we attended. We started out in the same church where they married. When it closed, they moved us to the Washington Street Baptist Church in Hobart. We attended faithfully and deepened our relationships with God and with other believers. We were surrounded by very positive influences. Each of us children trusted Christ as Savior. I surrendered to preach during a Spring revival meeting we attended every night.

Momma and Daddy expected us to work and made us mind. They were reasonable in their expectations and gave us a weekly allowance. When they asked us to do something they expected us to do it. When we needed it, they disciplined us. They did not hurt us but did convince us that we didn’t want to come back for more. As we were able, our responsibilities increased. I began going to the job site with Daddy when I was almost 12 years old. He paid me a fair wage, and we developed bonds that last till today.

Were Momma and Daddy perfect? No. Only Jesus lived a perfect life on earth. Still, they did so many things remarkably well as parents who had never read a book on parenting except the Bible. Eventually, the four of us made our own choices about the direction we took in life. We did so as privileged children because we had wonderful parents. I am grateful.

Ephesians 6:2-3, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “Called By The Holy Spirit” Acts 13:1-4a
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Membership Matters – this Sunday, February 28 at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room
  • GriefShare – this Sunday, February 28 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Family Movie Night “The Chronicles of Narnia” this Sunday, February 28 at 6:00 p.m.
  • TeamKIDS – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; live streamed on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com by noon on Thursday
  • Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.

New Member

John Bean

Press On!

Quail season was enjoyable, yet challenging. For some unknown reason, quail were not as plentiful this year as they have been in years past. We didn’t begin hunting until December, due to the coronavirus we both had. On that first day we limited our hunt to the morning at my request. I was still struggling to breath. We only walked about five miles. We walked about ten miles during each of the next three hunts. We ended December with a grand total of ten birds in four hunts while walking thirty-five miles.

The bad start was discouraging but not dissuading. We continued to hunt every week as we made the circuit of fields we hunt every year. The dogs remained excited, and we remained hopeful. Eventually, due to the fact that we did not quit, we found some birds and had a few good hunts. We didn’t fill our freezers, but we will be able to have a few good quail dinners with friends. We made a lot of memories and enjoyed even more. We remember large coveys and successful hunts from years gone by. Good times from yesterday have a way of pushing us through the challenging times of today.

That is exactly what the apostle Paul said about his own Christian life in three short verses (3:12-14). While writing to the church at Philippi, he mentioned twice that he was pressing on and once that he was straining forward. It is significant to note that Paul was writing from prison. Still, he felt very strongly that God’s call on his life was onward and upward. His temporary imprisonment was part of God’s plan for his life. He thanked God for the past, and looked forward to the future.

Believers like Paul are the ones that know God’s best personally and in ministry. There are many times in life when we must “press on” when times get tough. We have all experienced great challenges during the past year. Rather than pausing for a time out, so many of you have continued to strain forward to what lies ahead. God will bless you and His church because of your tenacity. Thank you for not quitting!

Quail cannot be harvested from the recliner. People cannot be reached without faithful Christian servants. Tough times allow us to know the joy pressing on while enjoying the presence of God.

Press on! Earl


FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “Surrounded by Evil” Acts 12:18-25
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • GriefShare this Sunday, February 21 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Observance of The Lord’s Supper – this Sunday, February 21 at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Family Movie Night “Chronicles of Narnia” on Sunday, February 28 at 6:00 p.m.
  • TeamKIDS – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; live streamed on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com by noon on Thursday
  • Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.

         

         

         

       

                                               

                                              

Downsizing

Nancy’s dad refinished the antique kitchen cabinet before we married. The neighbors across the street from their home had owned it for many years and painted it periodically. Paint stripper was used in large quantities before arriving at the original oak cabinet and metal flower sifter. He did a phenomenal job, and we treasured his gift.

For years I kept my stereo behind the bottom door of the cabinet and ran the speaker wires through the back to various places in our homes. The house where we have currently lived for 19 years is the eighth place we have lived during our marriage. The cabinet has accompanied us every step of the way. At times it held all our board games. For a few years in Holdenville we used it as a pantry in the kitchen. It always reminded us of Nancy’s dad and was quite the conversation piece.

The cabinet has been in the garage since we moved to Weatherford. We turned it into a tool chest of sorts. It was easy to step into the garage and dig under the hammer and pliers to find the screwdriver in the top drawer. We also kept small cans of paint and a few brushes in the upper part of the cabinet. I reinstalled my stereo and placed the speakers on top of the cabinet. When I fried quail in the garage, I always cranked up the volume on a few vintage cassettes and travelled back in time.

Nancy made the call. She arranged to sell the cabinet and create more space in our garage. We found a place for all the tools and paint. I gave my stereo away. We hauled the cabinet to a local person who gave us a fair price and plans to turn a profit on it. The downsizing of garage items allows for easier entrance and exit with our bicycles. We have not regretted selling the cabinet. It served a variety of wonderful purposes through the decades but became unnecessary.

The same thing happens with programs in ministry. Some programs that serve long and well become unnecessary. The message of the gospel never changes for any church. The programs and methods used to deliver that gospel must adapt to remain effective. God is currently downsizing the inventory of our programs. We won’t miss the programs as long as we get to make disciples.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “Rescued by God” Acts 12:1-17
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • GriefShare this Sunday, February 14 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Observance of The Lord’s Supper – Sunday, February 21 at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Family Movie Night “Chronicles of Narnia” on Sunday, February 28 at 6:00 p.m.
  • TeamKIDS – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; live streamed on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com by noon on Thursday
  • Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.

God of All Creation

Job found himself in the midst of a challenge between Satan and God. Unbeknownst to him, God had pointed him out to Satan as one who was upright in every way. One thing led to another before Job found himself in a broken situation, to say the least. His children were gone. His possessions were gone. His health was gone. All that remained was his life and his wife. Neither of them were at their best.

Eventually Job poured out his soul to God in despair. As a few friends tried to point out Job’s guilt, Job declared his innocence to God, as well as his disappointment with God. Job wished out loud that he had never been born. Job questioned whether God really knew what He was doing. God listened patiently – for a time. Then, when the time was right, God asked Job a few questions that reminded Job who was in charge.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”

“Who shut in the sea with doors…and said, “Thus far shall you come, and no farther; and here shall your proud waves be stayed?”

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place?”

On and on God continued as He reminded Job that He not only created the heavens and the earth but also controlled the heavens and the earth – including what happened to Job. Eventually Job confessed his ignorance and his sin. He surrendered willingly to God’s control as he repented in dust and ashes. In response, God blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. Job became the beneficiary of the God he now knew more intimately.

We should be good caretakers of the earth God allows us to inhabit. As we do so, we must remember that He is creator, and we are the created, and we will never change places. The arrogance of those who feel they can manipulate hurricanes and control temperatures reminds me of Job. They credit themselves far too much and God far too little. God patiently endures such behavior for a time but not forever.

God will forgive our sin and heal our land if His people humble themselves, and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways.

II Chronicles 7:14 Earl


FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “Changing The World” Acts 11:19-30
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • GriefShare this Sunday, February 7 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • TeamKIDS – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; live streamed on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com by noon on Thursday
  • Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.

New Members

Trenton Pearcy Trotter Pearcy

Salvaged

The table was much more weathered than I anticipated. For weeks I had been thinking about the coffee table my daddy had made decades earlier. My uncle Alvin had told me about it after a funeral I attended in Hobart. He initiated our conversation by telling me that he had something he wanted me to have. He went on to explain that he had a table in his barn that daddy had built out of walnut and pecan wood.

I remembered the table. At one time it sat in front of the couch in my parent’s home. For some reason, Daddy had built another table out of all walnut and replaced the first table. I was excited that I was going to get the table my dad had made. Weeks passed before we finally made arrangements to pick it up on Christmas. In my mind I envisioned the table as it had been when it occupied my parent’s living room.

My heart sank when I saw the weathered table that Alvin had removed from the barn and sat near the circle drive. He had wiped away some of the dirt and grime that had accumulated through the years. Still, it was so different than I remembered. Alvin encouraged with a few refurbishing tips. Momma said I might as well throw it away.

I went with Alvin’s advice. I spent a few hours sanding. I used sandpaper and elbow grease at first, before I borrowed an electric sander that made the job much quicker. The grayed wood became more distinctively brown and blonde. When I had things smoothed to my satisfaction, I applied a few coats of polyurethane. The table returned to its former glory! I had forgotten just what a craftsman my daddy was. Everything remained intact and shiny.

There are two ways of viewing people who have become weathered and dirty. Some will feel like there is no way they can be salvaged. Others, who know the power of God, will know that as long as there is life, there is hope. Lives that seem broken beyond repair can be formed into new creations by the grace of God, through faith in Christ. We can’t change people, but God can and does. Never give up on anyone!

II Corinthians 5:17, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “Overcoming Evil With Good” Romans 12:17-21
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Membership Matters Class this Sunday, January 31 at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room
  • GriefShare this Sunday, January 31 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • TeamKIDS – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; live streamed on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com by noon on Thursday
  • Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.

New Member

Reed Hatfield

    

The Solution is Near

“All I know for sure is that we are within twenty yards of where the first bird fell.”

Kendall and I were having our best hunt of the season. We were on our fourth covey and had just witnessed an awesome point by Freckles. She had come down in some trees located on the north end of a large pasture filled with love grass. We were able to get close enough to shoot before the birds flushed. I missed twice. Kendall dropped two birds.

The downed birds would not be easy to find. Love grass makes walking difficult and finding birds extremely challenging. Kendall had kept a close eye on the downed bird until he stumbled in the grass and lost his focus. Walking on love grass is almost like walking on volleyballs. We made it to the general area where the birds went down. All we knew for sure was that we were in the general area of where we could pick up the birds.

While we stood, Freckles and Duke hunted. They worked back and forth, using their noses to search for the quail. Almost as soon as Kendall finished declaring we were within twenty yards, Duke crept up toward us as though he smelled a bird. Eventually he pointed before reaching under Kendall’s boot and grabbing the bird in question. He was standing on top of the quail we were seeking, even though we had no idea it was near.

The solution for the problems we face in life is often nearer than we realize. While we scan the horizon for a new political leader or policy change, maybe we should just allow God to change the heart of the one who is wearing our shoes. Rather than searching through social media to find the latest opinions and predictions, maybe we should consult God’s Word, which is never wrong and always encouraging. Our hope is in the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He is not one of many solutions. He is “THE” solution for the problems we personally face in life as well as the problems in the world that surrounds us.

Freckles found the other bird, and we were on our way. Things turned out much better than we had anticipated. They usually do when we walk by faith, even if we stumble from time to time. What a mighty God we serve!

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “Living in Harmony” Romans 12:14-16
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • GriefShare begins this Sunday, January 24 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Precepts Class “1 John, 2 John, and 3 John” meets this Sunday at 6:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center
  • TeamKIDS – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary; live streamed on Facebook at 6:30 p.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com by noon on Thursday
  • Sunday, January 31 – Membership Matters Class at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room
  • Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.

New Member

Carol Curtis

A Lifetime is a Long Time

“A lifetime is a long time.”

My mother made this insightful observation as we visited on the phone recently. We usually visit briefly in the evening about the events of the day. Junior Dickerson inspired me to check in with Momma every day after Daddy died on December 15, 2007. Junior had called his mother every day for decades after his father died. We can and should learn from those who are further along in life than we are.

“A lifetime is a long time.”

Momma asked me if I had seen the special on the life of Eddie Sutton that had aired on the previous evening. I had not. Eddie had been presented as a real man with strengths and weaknesses. Nothing was glossed over in his life’s story. His problems with addiction reminded my mother of my brother’s struggle that led to his premature death. I don’t know that misery loves company, but I do know that it appreciates empathy. We are not alone as we journey through life.

“A lifetime is a long time.”

Long enough to eventually experience disappointments and challenges never considered possible during earlier decades. Long enough to eat a few words that implied immunity to the pain some families feel. Long enough to bury friends and lose jobs and develop cancer. Long enough for hearts to ache and homes to burn and cars to wreck and churches to struggle.

“A lifetime is a long time.”

Prayers offered decades earlier are answered and appreciated more than they would have been if time had not passed. New friends and new challenges come into life. Revival is sent by God into weary souls and struggling churches. Marriages that had grown cold reignite and bring immeasurable joy to both husband and wife. Peace replaces chaos and joy replaces grief. The ship thought gone forever finally comes in.

“A lifetime is a long time.”

Pa-pa used to say about Kiowa county – “I’ve never seen this land so dry that it does not become too wet, nor so wet that it does not become too dry.”   

We cannot fathom all that will happen in a full, long life. However, we can confidently rest in the unwavering love of God. He remains with us wherever we go. Even through the valley of the shadow of death.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “Salty Christian Living” Romans 12:9-13
  • Loss of a Spouse by GriefShare meets this Sunday, January 17 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Precepts Class “1 John, 2 John, and 3 John” begins this Sunday, January 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center
  • GriefShare begins January 24 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.

Sports

I played sports at Hobart while I was growing up. Being a Bearcat was a big deal in the Southwestern Oklahoma town. I wasn’t great at any of the sports I played, but I did enjoy participating and winning more than losing. I still have my letter jacket hanging in my closet. I can still sing the HHS fight song. I made some wonderful memories on the gridiron, the mat, and the diamond. Then one day the band stopped playing.

Oh, the band still played for all the Bearcat sporting events. It just did not play for me. I moved on to real life. I never played another football game. It is hard to find 21 others who would like to strap on the pads and go at it. Besides that, I had no pads to strap on. I did play softball for a few years and pinned a couple of high school guys at Falls Creek. For the most part, however, all the time, energy, and emotion I had invested in sports evaporated into thin air after I graduated from high school.

My commitment to sports was minor when compared with many in today’s world. There is little time left for a balanced approach to life. Often, family time is sacrificed in order to make more time for sports. Academics suffer for the sake of workouts. Involvement in church takes a back seat to tournaments and competitions that take place on Sundays. It has become accepted that many will not attend worship on Sunday during certain seasons. Those seasons continue to grow. The local church continues to shrink.

I wonder what God thinks about all of this? As a youth, I assumed God was a Bearcat fan. I have changed my mind. I don’t think God really cares who wins a game. God cares about the people who are playing the game – both teams! He uses all things to accomplish His purpose in and through us. I assume this includes all activities, including sports. However, when anything takes His place in our lives, He is not pleased and problems develop. Make sure God’s kingdom remains your priority.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things shall be added to you.”

Matthew 6:33, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • This Sundays Sermon “Strengthening The Church” Romans 12:3-8
  • The Gathering Service and TeamKIDS resume on January 13
  • Loss of a Spouse by GriefShare on Sunday, January 17 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Precepts Class “1 John, 2 John, and 3 John” begins on Sunday, January 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center
  • Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.

Love Strengthens the Church

This year Nancy decorated our home a bit differently for the Christmas season. She trimmed the tree in white, silver and gold. It looked awesome. She opted for nativity scenes that were large and simple. She used less decorations with more impact. Rather than place the Christmas cards we received in a basket as in previous years, she displayed them on the buffet counter. We received so many cards this year! Thanks for loving us.

This Sunday, January 3, we will offer live worship at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Childcare will be provided for children through 3 years of age. LifeGroups for all ages will begin on Sunday, January 10. Remember that LifeGroups for children over 3 and youth are offered only at 10:30 a.m. Worship will continue to be livestreamed. I am thrilled that we are again meeting in person. Many of you have told me that you enjoy the worship online, but long to be together. I agree with you.

This has been a challenging month. We went for several months knowing few who had the coronavirus. Then, multiplied persons in our church tested positive for the virus. I was one of them and really struggled. My funeral count for the year is up to 30, and some of the more recent have been as a result of the coronavirus. The virus is spreading and affecting lots of people.

Still, we can meet responsibly. Doing so begins with each of you. If you feel nervous about attending, stay at home. If you have any symptom whatsoever, please stay at home. Feel free to wear a mask or not. You will not be judged by anyone for what you do. Once you enter the church, you are responsible to do what you feel is right. You take a risk by coming to church just like you take a risk when you go to get groceries.

I have tried to lead as best I can. This is one of those unique situations in life when I am going to disappoint some people, no matter what I do. I appreciate your support during this crazy time. I have never felt more needed, more loved, or more limited. I find great peace in admitting that I am not in control and God is.

“But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.”                                       I Corinthians 8:1 (NLT), Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Church Office will be closed this Friday, January 1
  • New Sermon Series beginning January 3 “Gospel Living” Romans 12
  • This Sundays Sermon “Living Sacrifices” Romans 12:1-2
  • January 3 – Family Worship Only at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (Nursery for Babies-3 yr old)
  • January 10 – Family Worship and LifeGroups at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering Service and TeamKIDS resume on January 13
  • Loss of a Spouse by GriefShare on Sunday, January 17 at 4:30 p.m. in the Parlor
  • Precepts Class “1 John, 2 John, and 3 John” begins on Sunday, January 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center
  • Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.

    

Christmas Memories

One of my first Christmas memories was made in the Koonkazachey school. My father attended the school when he was growing up. He told plenty of stories about events that occurred in that one room schoolhouse. My favorite story was about the time he and some friends discovered a bumblebee nest on the playground. They made paddles to swat the bumblebees with as they let them out of the hole one at a time after tossing a coat over the entrance. “We all ended up getting stung” is how daddy concluded the story.

The community came together for Christmas at the school. Many, if not most of those in the community were related to me. My uncle Kenneth dressed up as Santa and passed out brown paper sacks to all the children. The sack had an orange and an apple to provide volume and weight. The sack also had an assortment of nuts and several pieces of candy. There were some chocolates, some orange slices, and a few hard candies that tended to stick together. That was all I received, and it was wonderful!

Through the years Christmas continued to be a highlight of the year. There were Christmas programs at church and extended family gatherings. The smell of the cedar tree daddy cut on a mountain filled the front room of our home. Our stockings continued to contain items similar to those at the Koonkazachey school. A time or two I received a large dill pickle. It was always so exciting to dump out the stocking and rummage through the treasures.

I received a gun on at least three different Christmases. The guns were probably my favorite gifts while growing up. I took one of those guns with my daddy later Christmas morning and killed my first quail west of our house. My mother always provided the best of food for breakfast and we shared a meal with extended family at noon. The homes always had more people than space, and it was awesome. I usually sat on top of the chest deep freeze on the back porch when we went to Ma-ma and Pa-pa’s.

Through it all I developed a great appreciation for family and a deep love for God. He gave the ultimate gift of His Son. My love for Jesus was enhanced by the annual celebration of Christmas. It still is.

Joy to the world! Earl  


FBC Happenings

  • Christmas Eve Caroling and Communion at 5:00 p.m. on the East steps
  • New Sermon Series beginning January 3 “Gospel Living” Romans 12
  • January 3 – Family Worship Only at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. (Nursery for Babies-3yr old)
  • January 10 – Family Worship and LifeGroups at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering Service and TeamKIDS resume on January 13
  • Services are being posted on the church website, the church YouTube channel at FBC Weatherford Media, and on the church Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday.