I post papers I have written, some during my graduate and post-graduate studies, some in response to other papers, and some written for other purposes like Sunday school classes or Bible studies. I also post observations on whatever comes to my mind and videos from teaching sessions.
At about noon today, as I sat in my car behind a truck, waiting to exit the Hobby Lobby parking lot onto the highway, I was suddenly thrown forward, striking the vehicle in front of me. My car had been slammed from behind by another SUV.
In November 2018, I posted “I thank God for sparing my life,” after falling backward down the steps in our garage, striking the back of my head on the concrete floor.
Today, I thank God again, not only for sparing my life, but also for saving me from injury. I could ask, “Why,” but God alone knows the reason anything happens. We can trust him. If I had not been where I was, experiencing damage to our car as well as a certain amount of disorientation, I could have been involved in something much worse.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Susan and I will not attend the above event this year. We enjoy the event, and this would have been our fifth consecutive year to attend. We paid $261 for the two tickets, and we have listed them on Stubhub at a substantial discount. If you’re interested, you can access them at the link below.
My grandfather, L. D. Segraves, was the first preacher in our family. I don’t know how many Bibles he wore out before he departed to be with Christ in June 1959. I was twelve years old.
But I vividly remember Dad showing me one of Grandpa’s Bibles after his passing. It was a Thompson Chain Reference Bible, and Grandpa had used it for so long that the spine was worn and the pages were falling out. Grandpa had drilled three holes into the spine and inserted nuts and bolts to hold it together.
My father went home to be with Jesus on November 5, 2001. As he was being carried from his home on a stretcher, he said to me, “I’ll see you in heaven, son.”
Some time later, I began looking through Dad’s things, looking for Grandpa’s “nuts and bolts” Bible. One of my greatest regrets is that I have not found it. Of course, I’m interested in the unique binding, but I’m most interested in the notes he wrote on its pages. I would like to hear his voice through his words.
The picture above is of the Bible I have been using since August 23, 1999. You can see it is well worn. The spine has separated. Notes are written on its pages. The page to which it is opened is torn.
This is not the first Bible I have used in more than fifty years of ministry. I have others that are also well-worn, marked, and written in.
It occurred to me that at this stage of life, I should purchase a wide margin Bible and transfer my notes into it. It arrived today.
This will take awhile. But someday I will follow my father and grandfather into the presence of our Lord, and I would like my descendants to be able to see where I have marked the Bible and what notes I have made. This is one way to keep speaking for a long time to come.
Last Wednesday night, I had the privilege of talking with the Hyphens, and I plan to do so again tomorrow night. Who are the Hyphens? They are the 18-30 year old youth of the United Pentecostal Church International. You can read about them at hyphenonline.org.
These are amazing young people. They have a heart for God, a passion about being involved in His work, and a desire to learn how to discover their gifts and put them to work to build God’s kingdom. Those to whom I spoke are based at The Sanctuary UPC in Hazelwood, Missouri, where Mitchell Bland is pastor.
My mission with the Hyphens is to talk, by request, about spiritual gifts. That’s why I posted the brief video of an excerpt of my talk last week. The video would have been longer, but my iPhone decided it had done enough not long after I started. That’s also why I posted “A Parable about Gifts” yesterday. I plan to use it when I’m with the Hyphens again tomorrow night.
I also plan to post the entire video of tomorrow night’s session; it should be about one hour on spiritual gifts. My phone should stay with me, because I visited the Apple Store this week to diagnose the problem.
To access a manual I have written on spiritual gifts, click on “Signs and Wonders [PDF]” in the menu bar.[archive]
Yesterday I submitted an article, written by request, for publication in the October 2019 issue of the Pentecostal Life magazine. The article discusses the seven motivational gifts of Romans 12: prophecy, teaching, leading, giving, exhorting, showing mercy, and ministry [serving].
As in his teaching on the nine spiritual gifts in I Corinthians 12, Paul used the analogy of the human body to explain the gifts’ interrelationships. If you have been born again, you are a member of Christ’s body and are, by definition, spiritually gifted to fulfill your role in the body of Christ.
The question is not whether you have a gift. The question is what is your gift and how will you use it. When you identify and and work in the area of your giftedness, it leads to a sense of fulfillment and to success in your efforts. Attempts to work outside the area of your giftedness tends to result in frustration and burnout.[archive]
Last night, at the 2019 Urshan Graduate School of Theology Seventeenth Annual Commencement and the Urshan College Fifty-First Annual Commencement, I had the opportunity to talk with Rev. Jerry Jones. Brother Jones, former long time general secretary of the United Pentecostal Church International, is a graduate of UGST and now serves as the assistant professor of theological and pastoral studies and director of the Christian ministries program at Urshan College.
Professor Jones said he had expected to see me in regalia, but this was the first time in probably thirty-five years I did not need to wear it. This is one of the benefits of retirement![archive]