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Who Trains the Superheroes?

Special Forces Members May Not Have Super Powers but They Do Have Super Training Imagine for a moment that you are flying in a helicopter. For most of us, that represents an adventure that few will experience. Now add to that: you are strapped in your helicopter seat in a near hurricane, at night, over water, and you are about to crash. What will you do? I have always loved flying and aviation. I got it from my Dad (former Air Force) and he and I could never get enough of airplane models and airshows growing up. In my adult years as a Reserve Army Chaplain, when I found out…

Adrian Rogers: The Case of the Curious Sermon

His first thought came more as a question than an attempt to write a sermon, “Why was this passage in the Bible?” Adrian Rogers loved to quiz me about the latest methods for sermon preparation. Through the years we talked about computers, software programs, etc. and he would laughingly say that they weren’t quite ready to replace his Bible, legal pad, and pen. I don’t pretend to know Adrian’s stated methods for sermon development but I did form an observational opinion through talking with him on the subject. Dr. Rogers combined an insatiable curiosity with a vivid imagination. He was great at preaching the narrative sections of Scripture (the…

Amazing Stories of Adrian Rogers

What I am about to tell you is what I heard, and only that. I have not endeavored to fact-check or verify the words in any way. At the time I heard the stories I was stunned into theological silence. I have learned through the years that I do not need to explain, or explain away, everything that I hear. When you hear the stories you can decide for yourself what you believe. The truth, here, is in the retelling. At lunch one day Dr. Adrian Rogers mentioned to me that he wanted to get some Mid-America preaching students together for some discussion. I gave him my customary response…

The Last Words of Adrian Rogers

Heroes are for the young, memories are for the old. As a teenage preacher, one of my heroes was Adrian Rogers, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. I cannot remember the first time I heard him preach but I was quickly captivated by his resonate voice, biblical depth, and how he had a majestic reverence for the Lord Jesus. Personally being more of a tenor in tone of voice, I never felt the need to imitate him in preaching but I loved that fact that someone so solid on the Bible was out there, somewhere, preaching the truth. It was comforting somehow. There was a prophet…

The Passion Play Prelude

In 1633 the Black Death struck the town of Oberammergau in Bavaria, Germany.  The people of the town vowed to God that if the Plague would pass them by then they would perform a Passion Play every ten years in honor of the miracle.  They have kept their vow for over 350 years. In an Oberammergau source called the “Chronicle” it states, “in diesem Leydwesen sind die Gemeinds-Leuthe Sechs und Zwolf zusammengekommen und haben die Passions-Tragodie alle 10 Jahre zu halten Verlobet, und von dieser Zeit an ist kein einziger Mensch mehr gestorben.” [in this time of suffering the village councils of the Six and Twelve met and vowed to perform…

Sunt un Trombonist

Every international traveler fears that moment.  You have unintentionally said something embarrassing/inappropriate or just downright stupid.  Having traveled the world I should have overcome this fear but, alas, this fear always remains, packed away in my carryon bag. Every new culture you encounter is another opportunity to add to your list of personal faux pas. Beautiful Romania, encompassing the mountains of Transylvania and lying along the historic Danube River, was the setting for my latest adventure in inappropriate phraseology.  My partner-in-verbal-crime this time was Monte Shinkle, alum and pastor from Missouri. After seeing how popular brass bands are in the churches here I desperately wanted to join in.  After…

I Found You

The pastor remembered the encounter but not the name. Some memories dim but they never completely fade away.  As a young sailor, he remembered his ship docking in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He remembered walking the docks as the man approached him and struck up a conversation.  He remembered the man telling him that Jesus Christ could save him from his sins and give him eternal life.  He remembered praying the sinner’s prayer and the change that came over him.  But what was that man’s name, the witness? That, he couldn’t remember. The young sailor returned to his home in the Philippines and sensed that God wanted him to tell…

The Last Flight of the Listen Here Tojo!

September 15, 1943: New Guinea On Wednesday morning, September 15, 1943, B-17s of the 43rd Bomb Group leave Jackson Field, Port Moresby to bomb the Japanese forces near the town of Lae. The flight is not long but it is over the formidable Owen Stanley Mountain Range. On the return flight, the formation flies into a cloud bank in the mountains. When the formation breaks out of the cloud cover one plane is missing: the Listen Here Tojo! #41-24552. This will be the last B-17 lost in combat in the Pacific Theater in World War 2. The wreckage of the plane will be discovered 50 years later and the remains…

Sons of the 43rd

The jungle knew all along.  But for fifty years it had held its secret.  The war had moved on and left it in peace, or what passes for peace in the still uninhabitable regions of New Guinea.  Searches were conducted, families mourned, and memories faded.  Still, the jungle only hid its treasure, it did not erase it. The story goes that a logging team was cutting a road when they discovered something man made in the depths of the New Guinea jungle.  The object was large, very large, and had been there for some time.  Among the clues to the identity of this creature was a number, still visible…

The Baptist Attic

From time to time I chance upon unremarkable discoveries that seem to compel me to search out their secrets.  Of course, if I was better informed to start with I could dispense with the effort and move on to something more productive.  However, today productivity must take a back seat to the necessity of curiosity (i.e. I’m wasting valuable time). Today’s adventure is not my fault.  I happen to work with the greatest theological librarian in Middle-earth, TNB.  He is constantly assaulting me with relics from a bygone age which he has uncovered in his never-ending quest to spend all of our school’s money on more books. Alas, I should banish…

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