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Dan R. Crawford's Blog (66)

Understanding Why

The older I get the less I understand about some things. I don’t understand why good people elect bad politicians. I don’t understand why faithful church members have violent disagreements. I don’t understand why people who love each other make decisions that cause their children to suffer. I don’t understand why rich people spend their money foolishly, even illegally. I don’t understand why God shows public favor on some of His called-out ones and allow others to serve in relative…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 4, 2019 at 7:26am — No Comments

Heaven, Earth, and Holding Patterns

As a recent flight was caught in a “holding pattern” the analogy was too obvious for me. Perhaps I’ve been too far to many “celebrations of life” lately. French Philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Allow me to paraphrase: we are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings temporarily caught in a human holding pattern, awaiting arrival in heaven. In…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 27, 2019 at 3:23pm — No Comments

Marked by the High Calling

My local newspaper recently gained national attention with an investigative report on sexual abuse by ministers in “Independent Fundamentalist Baptist” churches.

 

The study revealed 412 documented allegations of sexual misconduct in 187 churches, based in 40 states and Canada. Let me quickly add that while I am “independent,” and some would say, a bit “fundamental,” and a…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 14, 2019 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Leaders Who Lead and Some Who Don’t

Years ago, I found myself in charge of an organization that was deeply divided. Every decision was challenged. Every vote was split. As I struggled to lead, a good friend said to me, “Just lead! We will follow!” While not everyone followed, the organization survived. If you have ever been a part of an organization that suffered from a lack of leadership, you know how painful that can be. How agonizing it is to watch a group of people flounder around with no direction, wasting their time in…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 2, 2018 at 4:22pm — No Comments

Working Toward Perfection

My role models have all been workaholics. Many of these have also been perfectionists. This is a dangerous mixture. Trying to justify such a lifestyle, I searched the scriptures, until I discovered Jesus saying in His sermon on the mount, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Then I learned that Jesus is here setting a goal, that is certain to be impossible. The pursuit of perfection is important, even if the attainment of it is…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 19, 2018 at 7:33am — No Comments

Applying Wisdom to Grief

Since grief is such a big subject, there isn’t a single definition that covers it. A commonly used definition is “Grief is the normal and natural emotional reaction to loss or change of any kind.” Let me illustrate. Last week I attended a conference that involved several hundred cross-cultural missionaries, some of whom were former Seminary students of mine. I received two invitations to teach a short-term class on prayer (my favorite subject to teach) in two different countries, far removed…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 20, 2018 at 7:59am — No Comments

Second Mile Friends

What does a real friend do? I now have a new answer to that question. It was a sickening feeling to arrive at my hotel and begin unpacking my luggage only to miss seeing the small zip-lock bag containing my prescription medication. A call home revealed that the bag was indeed ready for the trip but was sitting on the counter in my home bathroom. It never made it to the luggage, thus was not available when I unpacked in another city, in another…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 3, 2018 at 9:30am — No Comments

Wherever He Leads, We’ll Go

We celebrated our wedding anniversary last week and were reminded that our wedding prayer of commitment was sung, not spoken, and one word was changed: “My heart, my life, my all I bring to Christ who loves me so; He is my Master, Lord, and King, wherever He leads I'll  we’ll go.” We began as a team and have remained that way all these years. Need proof? We’ve lived in eight cities in two states, including thirteen addresses. We’ve traveled…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 17, 2018 at 12:56pm — No Comments

An Antidote for Bullying



One of the ways I am processing the unexpected death of my brother is by remembering the fun times of our youth. The memory verse at one year’s Vacation Bible School was Ephesians 4:32, “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (KJV),” and Bob had committed it to memory from the King James Version of the Bible – which is mostly what we had back then. There were a few other translations, but our Southern Baptist…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 29, 2018 at 6:26pm — No Comments

Acceptance and Change

As much as we would like to change things, some things are just unchangeably real, and there’s not much we can do about it. To say that in a popular way, “It is what it is.” Jesus does not change. The writer of Hebrews proclaims, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Even while society changes, human nature does not change. Reality is real. Hanging on my wall as I grew through my teen-age years, was a plaque containing the words of American theologian…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on June 28, 2018 at 12:40pm — No Comments

Learning from Five Presidents

I knew five men who served as President of my seminary – one while I was a student, three while I was on the faculty, and one who was Interim President between two Presidents.

 

While they were very diverse, each had his strengths, and each made lasting contributions to the school. Each impacted the lives of future ministers. I considered each to be my friend. I learned from all of them.

 

One took the first Chapel of each semester to welcome the new…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on May 29, 2018 at 10:30am — No Comments

Resurrection and Mission

We’ve recently celebrated Resurrection Sunday, so what do we do now? One of the first things Jesus said to His followers after His resurrection was in the form of a command. He told them to go and tell others what had happened and what they had experienced (Matthew 28:10, 19; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:17; Acts 1:8). So now we go and tell, not because of need or desire, but because we were told to do so. When my daughter was a teenager, her room often looked like a straight-line wind…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 14, 2018 at 12:53pm — No Comments

Minus One More Earthly Hero

In the spring of 1952, Billy Graham preached a crusade in Rice Stadium, on the campus of Rice University in Houston, Texas.

I was eleven years old and lived only blocks away from that 70,000 seat football stadium. My father was on one of the committees that served the crusade, and I attended the meetings. I was impressed with the fact that Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were on the stage, but more impressed with Graham’s…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 18, 2018 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Friendships in the Midst of Differences

When I was in college, all my friends were Democrats, except for one roommate, who was a member of the Young Republicans club on campus. But we were still friends, and in fact he was in my wedding. For the past four decades I have worked in a religious environment described as a “Conservative Resurgence” where friends were fired or pressured to resign, in fact, some of my best friends, disappeared almost overnight. But they were still my friends and continue to be so today. Over the years I…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 17, 2018 at 7:01pm — No Comments

Free to be Who I Am

I’m not sure I’ve ever known anyone who loved their pastor more than my wife loved hers. Joanne grew up as a member of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio where Buckner Fanning was her pastor. I learned a lesson early in our marriage, that led to a decision that, partially at least, shaped my ministry. I learned that Bucker was…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 26, 2018 at 10:03am — No Comments

Lily Work

 Tis the season for graduations. Many years ago, at my Seminary graduation, the commencement speaker spoke on the subject “Don’t Forget the Lily Work” from 1 Kings 7:15-22. Hiram finished the construction of Solomon’s Temple with two pillars, each one 27 feet tall, topped with two capitals, each 7 ½ feet high. Then 34 ½ feet above the ground, where no human eye could see, Hiram added the beautiful lily work. “The tops of the pillars were in the shape of lilies. So the work of the pillars was…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 14, 2017 at 6:44pm — No Comments

A Thanksgiving Suggestion

Sometimes preachers have thoughts during their sermons that did not occur to them during the preparation time.  It happened to me several years ago on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 18, 2017 at 7:32am — No Comments

The Fire is Still Burning

We once had a beautiful long-haired dachshund. Even in her later years, all I had to do was say the word, “Go” and she would jump from wherever she was sitting and run to the nearest door. Funny how I have become like that dog. I know I need to say “no” occasionally, but every time someone sends me an invitation to speak, I jump to the occasion. I’m not sure how old Jeremiah was when he wrote that God’s word, “was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9) and…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 22, 2017 at 5:08pm — No Comments

A Lesson from a Hurricane Survivor

It was a High School football game. He sat a few seats from me on the same row. After awhile he asked me, "Who are these…
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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 17, 2017 at 6:31pm — No Comments

The Joy of Receiving

The voice on the other end of the phone line said, “God wants us to minister to you and your wife.” It was a voice that I had not heard in many years, but it belonged to one who had re-connected with me on social media. My wife had just undergone her second major surgery in less than a year, and while insurance had paid the majority of the cost, the remaining “co-pays” were still a bit overwhelming, especially on a retirement income. We had dipped into our savings until there wasn’t much…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 28, 2017 at 7:16am — No Comments

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