A Bad Friday

By now you all know that another school shooting has happened—this time in Santa Fe, Texas. Closer to where I live, in the town of St. Martinville, LA, my wife’s hometown, several students died this morning in a car accident. Fun events for seniors, who were anticipating their last day, have been canceled. As I sat down to put some thoughts down, I got a news alert that a plane has crashed in Cuba.

Meanwhile, high school graduations in my area are happening all weekend.

Keenly aware that these graduating seniors aren’t reading my blog today or any day, if I could address every graduating senior, my words would go something like this.

Be Thankful. Life is fragile. Life is short. Life is far from perfect. The only way to live life to the fullest is to be thankful. Be thankful because you know you didn’t get to where you are by yourself. Be thankful for parents, teachers, coaches, ministry leaders, the military, police, first responders, doctors, dentists, nurses, and many others. Most of all, give thanks to God. I went to a high school sports awards program the other night put on by our local paper. I was thankful and impressed that most every student gave thanks to God.

Alex Haley, author of Roots kept a picture of a turtle sitting on a fence post near his desk. He said about the picture, “Anytime you see a turtle sitting on a fence post you know that the turtle did not get there without some help.”

Every single one of us is just like that—we did not get to where we are without a lot of help, including the help of God.

Keep Seeking Truth. This is probably not what high school seniors want to hear as they graduate, but “You are never finished learning.” We are always learning. We will face tests every day of our lives, and we better know truth to face these tests. My college roommate is a medical doctor. He studied hard as a college student, medical student, and resident. When he had finished all of his formal education and had begun his medical practice, I said something really stupid to him. “You must be so happy to know that you will never take another test again?”

I will never forget his answer. “I am studying harder than ever before. I take a test with every patient that I see, and if I fail that test, the result will be much worse than a failing grade.”

He’s right. Life is a test. School is just the preparation for us to take tests the rest of our lives. Today is a test. How do we process all that is happening in our world today? We must know truth.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. This gets us through these tough Fridays. Life is hard to explain. We better be armed with fundamental truth for the complexities of life.

This is not just for graduating seniors. This is for all of us.

God, help us. God, help Santa Fe, Texas. God, help St. Martinville, Louisiana. God help Cuba. There’s a lot of hurt in our world today.

What’s Happening this Week at FBC?

Tonight, we have our regular Wednesday mid-week schedule. Some of our school year programs are beginning to wind down, but we have a full schedule tonight and a few more weeks. Join us for a meal beginning as early as 4:45 p.m. At 6:00, for our mid-week service, we are continuing our series in Exodus. Tonight, we are studying Exodus 17.

Sunday is going to be an exciting day of worship. We are continuing our series on the parables of Jesus, but with a specific tie to our Compassion Experience Weekend. It’s going to be a great day. You don’t want to miss.

As we approach Sunday, please join me in doing four things.

1. Pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit to be obvious in each of our services.
2. Go to our website, fbclaf.org/compassion and register for the Compassion Experience. Remember the Compassion Experience will be open for you to visit on May 18-21 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. It is not too late!
3. Go to our website, fbclaf.org/vbs and register your child for Vacation Bible School. This year’s VBS is for students who have completed 1st through 6th grades. Our VBS dates are June 4-8.
4. Go to https://choraleacadienne.com/tickets and purchase tickets for the concert Jubliate which we are hosting this Friday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m. and includes multiple choirs, including our choir.

See You Sunday!

This Weekend is the Compassion Experience

This weekend is the Compassion Experience. I am excited about introducing this ministry and missions opportunity with you. I want to thank you for your trust in me in bringing the Experience to our church and the opportunity to challenge our church in this ministry. You may have some questions about Compassion International and why we are doing this, so let me see if I can help.

Why are we doing this? Without sounding over-spiritual, the short answer is that I believe that this is something that God would want us to do. I have built a relationship with Compassion over several years. John Carswell of Compassion, who you will meet Sunday, is a person I have grown to trust. A couple of our members traveled with John to Honduras last December. They came back excited about the possibilities. We have taken this very slow, but I believe that now is the time to dive in completely.

Why are we doing something beyond the scope of our cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention? This is a great question and one that I have wrestled with internally for quite some time. First, why not? We are not taking away from our support of those mission efforts. Secondly, we have noticed that the younger generation of believers is seeking hands-on mission projects in an effort to teach their children about the needs of the world. I do not see this as contradicting our mission efforts through our historical SBC relationships. Rather, I see this as beginning an exciting new partnership.

If you have other questions, I hope that you will contact me directly.

Help us meet our initial goal of sponsoring 200 kids.

Please go to fbclaf.org/compassion and make your reservation to go to the Compassion Experience. Invite lots of people to come with you. We have over 1700 people signed up to come, but we have room for more, especially on Friday and Monday.

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