Do Not Be Afraid

The apostles participated in the feeding of five thousand men and their families on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. They watched in awe as Jesus produced bread and fish which they distributed to the masses. When they had gathered the leftovers into baskets, just before they lined up to receive a round of applause, Jesus put them in a boat and told them to head toward the other side of the sea. Jesus stayed behind and dismissed the crowd. The apostles obediently began the eight-mile journey across toward Gennesaret.

 Life includes danger.

Shortly into the routine journey to the west, a storm swept down on the sea and hindered the progress of their boat. They lifted the sail and broke out the oars. Enough seasoned fishermen were in the group to give instructions and supply skillful effort. All would be just fine. Or, would it? The more they pulled at the oars, the more the winds and the waters pulled at them. They made little progress. Good thing they ate plenty of bread and fish before leaving shore. They needed the energy.

Life includes danger.

While they frantically pulled at the oars, Jesus spent time in prayer on a mountain near the east shore. He could see that they were struggling but did nothing to help them. Not immediately, anyway. He was spending time with His Father. I have no doubt that He prayed for His frightened apostles. He saw their circumstance, heard their cries, and empathized with their pain. He continued to pray as the apostles continued to panic.

Life includes danger.

Between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Jesus left the solitude of the mountain and headed across the top of the sea toward the frightened apostles. When He came near the boat, the apostles cried out in fear. They thought He was a ghost. He heard their cry and climbed aboard the boat. After identifying Himself, He again commanded them to not be afraid.

 Life includes danger.

This was the second time the apostles had experienced a category five storm while following Jesus. The first time it had been in the daytime, and Jesus was actually in the boat with them. The longer they followed Jesus, the more He used storms to strengthen their faith. He does the same for us. Life will always include danger. Faith in Jesus will always calm our fears.

Do Not Be Afraid! Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “The Rich Man and Lazarus” Luke 16:19-31
  • October LifeGroup Average Attendance – 500
  • Financial Update: Budget Required YTD – $1,498,435 Budget Received YTD – $1,326,578 Budget Spent YTD – $1,266,184
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.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
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Sunday Morning Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Member

Emily Banks

“Cotton Pickin’ Memories”

During a recent trip to Hobart I surveyed the ongoing cotton harvest. I met several picking machines on the highway as they changed locations. Modules of cotton stood alone in some fields and in line at the gin north of Hobart. Unharvested fields shone brightly in the midday sun. For years, very little cotton was grown in southwestern Oklahoma. Once the boll weevil was eradicated and the price of cotton increased, the crop again became prominent in the county where I was raised.

When I was a boy, I remember repeated plantings and listed ridges. If rain came when the tender plant was “in the crook,” it had to be planted again. It could not push through the crust formed by the rain. I remember chopping the weeds out of the rows during those days before pre-emergent existed. I remember watching daddy mix ground grain, molasses, and poison in a number 3 wash tub. While he drove slowly around the edge of the field, I used a board to toss the bait out for the grasshoppers.

When my daddy stripped the cotton, I sometimes rode in the chicken-wire sided trailer and stomped down the cotton. Green boles fell near the front of the trailer and made good ammunition to toss at my cousins, who were riding in other trailers in the same field. Cotton stalks always made walking through a harvested field challenging.

Annually, our family attended the “Gin Supper.” The coop gathered all the farmers and their families together and fed us a meal catered by Underwood’s Barbecue in Altus. Each of us had pencils at our spots. I used mine to sketch pictures on the paper that covered the long line of tables where we sat. During the evening’s program, door prizes were given from time to time. I never won, but I always watched my ticket as the numbers were read off. Cotton was a big part of life on the farm while I was growing up.

When my daddy was a young man, before he married my mom, one Fall he earned enough money to buy a new car by picking cotton. He was able to do so because he remained on task and worked very hard. He succeeded in life by continuing the same M.O. So can you.

“Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.”

Proverbs 12:11, Earl  



FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Doing Our Duty” Luke 17:7-10
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – 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
  • Daylight Saving Time Ends this Sunday, November 1…Remember to turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday evening
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Sunday Morning Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Members

Michael & Renee Gunsaulis and John Hilliard

My Friend Freckles

The closer we get to home, the more she wants to hug. Actually, it is more of a hold. Freckles, our female Brittany Spaniel, has always been very intelligent and very affectionate. She often stands on the patio with her paws on the window sill, looking in and monitoring her humans. At times she whines for food, but usually, she simply watches us live. She likes to feel connected.

Duke is neither affectionate nor…  Actually, he is smart about some things. However, for the most part, he fulfills his role as a dog very well. Freckles, at times, seems to think more than the average canine. I did not train her to be so. She arrived that way when we brought her home from Ponca City. She spent the first month sleeping in a crate at the foot of our bed. Nancy read that helps a puppy bond with their owners. Apparently it worked.

Freckles only comes in the house when I put her boots on before taking her quail hunting. I use the tiled utility room because I don’t want to stay outside myself. Otherwise, Freckles has the run of our south yard with her nephew, Duke. They are perfectly content to stay outside and sleep in the doghouse they share. They do look forward to their morning walks and their weekly runs. They are always ready to go.

Freckles is not always ready to stop. Our daily trek covers approximately three miles. During the walk, she pulls and sniffs like Duke. Occasionally, she may slow down in order to cause me to stop. When I do, she jumps up and gets me to pet her. By the time the journey is almost over, she seems more interested in pets than smells. She interrupts travel more during the last few blocks than during the entirety of the walk.

That tells me that she is more interested in who she is with than she is in what she is doing. I find that to be somewhat pleasing. I am not just the person on the end of the leash. I am the person she enjoys spending time with. At least, that is what I like to think.

I do know that I please God when I tell Him and show Him that I enjoy being with Him, wherever He leads me. When I delight in His presence, I thrill His heart.

So do you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Forgiven Much” Luke 7:36-50
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • This Sunday, October 25 – Membership Matters at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room
  • This Sunday, October 25 – Presentation of the 2021 Budget at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary
  • FIRST KIDZ – 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
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Sunday Morning Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

God’s Provision

Their tongues clung to the roofs of their mouths.  The extended journey had led them further into the wilderness and away from all known water supplies.  They thirsted for something with which to moisten their parched, cracked lips.  As the dust boiled up beneath their sandal-covered feet, they cried out for water. 

Not champagne or goats milk or fresh-squeezed orange juice, but water.  A basic requirement for survival was missing and they passionately pleaded for its provision.  They didn’t even ask for ice. 

Moses forwarded their request to God, Who in turn outlined a plan to get some water.  God always has a plan.  The plan defied human logic.  God’s plans usually do.  Moses followed the plan anyway.  So should we.  In obedience to the Word from God, Moses used his staff to strike a rock near the base of Mt. Sinai.

Water gushed forth from the rock with such bountiful supply that every one of the over two million Israelites drank until they thirsted no more.  God supplied their need in the most unexpected of ways when they simply obeyed His instruction.  He will do the same for you.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Two Men in the Temple” Luke 18:9-14
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – 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
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Graciously Pushing Forward

On October 25 we will be forming a Children’s Minister search committee. Each member of First Baptist Church will be asked to submit up to five names of those they believe would make good members on the search committee. From those receiving the most recommendations, a committee of five will be formed that will actively pursue our next Children’s Minister.

Currently the ministry to children is being led by Tamra Misak and Deborah Fulton. They are leading out in many positive ways on an interim basis. The personnel committee has decided that it is time to move forward with pursuing a called staff member for the position of Children’s Minister at FBC Weatherford. They know this is a position that means so much to the health and growth of the church. Begin now praying about who you will recommend to the committee. Also pray for God’s direction as a Children’s Minister is sought. We want God’s will to be done.

As we continue pushing forward during this pandemic, know that I love you and am thrilled that I get to be your pastor during such a time as this. So many of you have surfaced in various ministry roles. Thank you. We could not make an impact for Christ without your active participation. You are making sacrifices, and people are being blessed.

As a church, we have made wearing a mask and socially distancing a matter of personal preference. We diligently clean and sanitize, but we do not police anyone’s behavior once they enter the building. However, showing Christian love is not a matter of personal preference. Your view on mask-wearing does not permit you to treat others without kindness. All of us have been given so much contradictory information from various sources that I understand why different viewpoints exist about wearing masks. Nailing me down on this issue would be like nailing Jello to the wall.

So, let me reaffirm my love for each of you. I delight to be your pastor. I have never lived through anything like this and neither have you. Let’s show grace to one another, even as God shows grace to us. People continue to have multiplied needs that can only be met in Christ. The gospel must continue to be shared and lived even during a pandemic. Thanks for doing your part.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Like a Good Neighbor” Luke 10:25-37
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary….this week “Night of Praise” It’s Fall Break, so there will be no children’s activities.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Finding Joy and Peace

I found it where I lost it.

Several years ago, a friend handed me a key to a half-section of pasture that he owned and told me to take my dogs out and let them run any time I wanted. I don’t think I have received many gifts during my lifetime that are so practically beneficial. I have no idea how many times I have unlocked the gate and driven in before releasing the dogs from their box. They usually leap off the tailgate like two horses competing in the Kentucky derby.

This day had been no different from previous days. After parking, I put my phone in my coat pocket and my key in my jeans pocket. I walked while the dogs explored and ran untethered. They circled back often. We eventually made it to the pond, where they waded and drank. I just watched. At the truck, I loaded them up before we headed for home.

I exited the truck and reached into my pocket to get the key to unlock the gate. I found nothing. I returned to the truck and searched the cup holder. Again, I found nothing. I quickly assessed the situation. I had not left the key at home or I couldn’t have entered the pasture. I do have a master’s degree!

My conclusion was that the key had fallen from my pocket when I retrieved the truck key after loading the dogs. I returned to where I had parked. I searched for the small key with the smaller white tag that said “Dean’s key.” I usually park in about the same spot in the grass. Knowing where to look made it much easier to find the key, which I did!

Have you lost the joy of the Lord? Have you lost the peace of God? You will find them where you lost them. Go back to that place where you were spending time with the Lord consistently, and trusting Him completely. Focus on Him and not on current events that swirl around you. Only then will you be able to rejoice in the Lord.

I love you, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Counting the Cost” Luke 14:25-35
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – 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
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Members

Jared & Jayci Henriksen, Mikylin York, Braden Sweet, and Carter Tharp

In Need of a Coat

He needed a coat. The interior of the Roman jail cell offered few conveniences to the seasoned apostle. His basic needs were provided only when the soldier on duty felt compelled to do so. Many nights he had trouble sleeping. A growling stomach tends to make rest almost impossible. The air smelled musty and chilled his body to the bone after the sun went down.

Now winter was coming and the situation would get worse. Paul was not one to complain, but the cloak he left behind in Troas with Carpus would sure make the days, and especially the nights, much easier to endure. So he asked Timothy to bring the coat with him when he came to visit. 

Paul-the apostle. Paul-the author of at least thirteen books in the New Testament. Paul-the great missionary and evangelist. Paul-the scholar. Spending his final days on earth incarcerated by wicked people. And he didn’t even have a coat.

Quite the contrast, don’t you think, with those religious leaders of today who tell us that if we just have enough faith and get the sin out of our lives all will go well for us physically and financially. Apparently these modern day leaders have more insight and integrity than Paul had. Or maybe they just don’t know what they’re talking about.

Sometimes God’s choice people suffer hardship on earth. Paul not only died homeless, he died coatless. It didn’t bother Paul, though. He knew the Lord would bring him safely to His heavenly kingdom. He wouldn’t need a coat there.

I love you,   Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “God Shows No Partiality” Acts 10:24-48
  • This Sunday, September 27 – Membership Matters at 10:30 a.m. in the Choir Room
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – 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
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

Smiling Every Day

I am thrilled we are meeting together in person as a church. We are able to encourage each other and glorify God as we gather together. We are able to offer both Sunday morning worship services, as well as LifeGroups for all. On Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. we have activities for all children and the Gathering service for youth, university students, and adults. CDO happens on Mondays and Thursdays. We have come a long way since the pandemic began.

We are not offering everything we once did. There are no homemade snacks in the commons area between services on Sunday morning. There is no Wednesday night meal. There is no adult choir. There are no over-55 activities. We remain vigilant to provide ourselves the safest opportunity to continue meeting as a church. Our goal is not to do everything we once did. Our goal is to remain open every week.

Our goal is also to remain united as a church. We cannot allow the devil to divide us over masks and politics. How tragic it would be for any church to major on minor issues and therefore hinder itself from making disciples for Jesus. During a pandemic, people still spend eternity separated from God if they die without a relationship with Christ.

My personal plan is to continue smiling while withholding judgment on anyone. I have been your pastor for over nineteen years. I love all of you and want God’s best for you. If someone does not feel comfortable in a crowd, I am still their pastor. If someone rolls their eyes and speaks of conspiracies, I am still their pastor. If someone wears a mask in public, I am still their pastor. If someone tests positive for covid-19, I am still their pastor. Ministry does not stop during a pandemic. So far, I have done fifteen funerals this year.

I cannot please everyone. I am wearing a mask more often, not because I am certain about the benefits of doing so. I am wearing a mask more often because I do not want to quarantine for two weeks if I am around someone who tests positive. I don’t want to be sidelined at this time. I continue to thank God that I get to be your pastor – even during such a time as this.

Smiling every day, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “Going To The Gentiles” Acts 10:1-23
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Guest Speaker Wednesday: Stephen Myers. Topic: How to pray without using big words.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Member

Jackson Yount

Remaining Steadfast

If you want to enjoy life to the fullest, you need to catch a balance in the way that you live. Keith Wiginton used to refer to the ABC’s of ministry as the CAB’s – “catch a balance!” What is true for ministers is true for everyone. There needs to be a balance between work and play, church and family, rest and exercise, study and fellowship…you get the idea.

An older pastor advised me, early in ministry, that I should not do ministry as he had done it. He had become obsessive in how many visits he could make and how much service he could provide. He could not let himself stop, and eventually he paid a major emotional price. Living wired up all the time tends to short us out.

Stress causes multiplied physical, emotional, and spiritual problems. Jesus taught us, and modeled for us, the art of trusting God in the midst of the storm. It is OK to accept your limitations and leave issues with the Lord. Only He can remedy them anyway. You are neither unconcerned nor faithless when you don’t pray about the same issue every day from now on. You are maintaining a balanced perspective on prayer, as you continue to live life for the long haul. I personally focus on different areas as I pray each day throughout the week. 

And God is good with that. He does not look for a reason to deny my requests. He delights in me as I wait on His timing and His will. It is called trust. We are to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, if we acknowledge Him, He will make our paths straight.

Many automobile accidents occur when drivers overcorrect. The driver realizes that they are drifting off one side of the road and then jerks the steering wheel toward the other side of the road. This often results in a rollover that can prove tragic. Far better to drift back toward the center of the road rather than head for the other ditch!

Routine, like the center of the road, can be your friend. Under the leadership of God, develop a balanced pattern of living that avoids extremes. You can accomplish a lot in life by remaining steadfast. Remember the tortoise who defeated the hare?

Proverbs 3:5-6, Earl 


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “God’s Power Displayed” Acts 9:32-43
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gathering – Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
  • FIRST KIDZ – Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for Bed Babies – 6th grade
  • Observance of The Lord’s Supper – this Sunday, September 13 at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Family Movie Night “I Still Believe” this Sunday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

A New Coffee Maker

We began the hunt for a new coffee maker. Nancy checked prices locally before she ventured online. During the process she discovered one that was priced at a heavily discounted rate. By the time she went to pick it up, the deal was cancelled. She came home frustrated and without a new coffee pot.

I am so glad she struck out in her search. Let me explain. On a couple of mornings during a short span, the counter surrounding the coffee maker had been covered with coffee. We concluded that something was leaking. Our conclusion was dead on. Coffee would not cover the counter instead of filling the pot if all was well.

We had used the pot for a few years. It makes great coffee in a hurry. I can pour fresh water in when I get up and be drinking a cup in less than five minutes. I have actually cut back on my coffee consumption but still enjoy some every morning. Nancy and I were not going to do without coffee due to a pot malfunction. Also, Nancy did not appreciate her counter being covered with coffee. We are at a stage in life where we can afford a new coffee maker when one is needed.

Which gets me to the point of this article. We did not need a new coffee maker. I thought through the situation. If something was leaking inside the appliance, it would be coming from the reservoir and that would be clear water. Coffee would have to be coming from a cracked pot or…my mind was working systematically through the scenario. Or, I was not setting the pot directly under the drip as the coffee was made.

Problem solved. I don’t know how I was doing it, but I had sloppily been placing the pot on the burner in such a way that much of the coffee ran off the side instead of into the pot. When I took my time and centered the pot, no coffee spilled over onto the counter. Nothing was broken. I had just gotten careless.

The same thing happens in some marriages. Nothing breaks. Husband and wife just get careless with their actions and their words. When they slow down and give attention to detail, they realize that what they have is not only functional but wonderful.

Pay attention, Earl


FBC Happenings

  • Sundays Sermon “The People God Uses” Acts 9:23-31
  • Family Worship and LifeGroups, Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Church Office will be closed this Monday, September 7 for Labor Day
  • The Gathering, this Wednesday September 9 at 6:30 p.m. (Childcare for Babies-3’s)
  • Observance of The Lord’s Supper, next Sunday, September 13 at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • Family Movie Night “I Still Believe” next Sunday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Feel free to continue and watch the FBC Worship Services live streamed on Facebook at 9:00 a.m., also available on the website at: http://www.fbcweatherford.com at 11:00 a.m., or listen at noon on 95.5 FM The Coyote

New Members

Mark Kennedy, Dean & Marsha Tucker, Kendrick Swearingen, Lakyn Smith, Lizben Meigs, Aiden Foust, Olivia Roper, Kambree Bates, and Candace Lopez