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Dan R. Crawford's Blog (85)

Serve with Gladness

We sang a song last Sunday in the worship service that I had completely forgotten. It was a song from my youth, written in 1931 by B.B. McKinney, and based on Psalm 100:2, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” As we sang, I found myself wondering if there was any other way to serve the Lord. Could one serve the Lord with sadness? With anger? With indifference? With fear? I suppose so, but why would one want to do that? The kind of gladness that comes from serving the Lord, is greater than any…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 11, 2020 at 7:45pm — No Comments

Voting For or Against?

I am old enough to remember when politicians campaigned on their record instead of campaigning against the record of their opponent. Repeatedly during this election, I have been forced to watch TV commercials from candidates on both sides, telling me why I should not vote for their opponents. There is a difference is recognizing the record of an opponent, and posturing one’s self against that record vs. spewing half-truths, mistrust, venom, accusations, and pure unjustified hatred. I don’t…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 30, 2020 at 9:43am — No Comments

When Anger Becomes Greed

I was busy enjoying my meal in a local restaurant, when I was distracted. A family of four, seated nearby me, caught my attention. Mom and Dad were not having one of their best days, plus the two small children were expressing their unhappiness in rather loud volume. The family anger seemed to escalate as the meal progressed. At the end of their meal and close to the end of their patience, Dad threw several dollars on the table for a tip, grabbed both kids and headed to check out. Left…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 25, 2020 at 12:57pm — No Comments

Focus on Fitness

I keep getting out of shape.  So, I’m once again walking early each morning, even before my spiritual quiet time.  I am intrigued by 1 Timothy 4:7, “exercise…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 2, 2020 at 8:58am — 1 Comment

Blessings: Counted or Cursed?

Do you ever wake up with a song on your mind? I often do. This morning it was a hymn by Johnson Oatman, Jr. from the late 1800s. He wrote over three thousand hymns, but this is the one I remember. “Count your many blessings, name them one by one; count your many blessings, see what God hath done.” To list my blessings here would take up more space that my normal one paragraph, so just take my word for it – I am much blessed. In fact, the older I get, the more blessings I count. I love a…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 29, 2020 at 5:26pm — No Comments

It Just Keeps Getting Better

It was several decades ago this month, having sensed the call of God on my life, I was licensed to the Gospel ministry by the West End Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, where my father was Pastor. Shortly thereafter, I enrolled in Howard Payne College, to major in Bible, and prepare for the ministry. In my Senior year, I was called to be Pastor of the Robinson Springs Baptist Church, near DeLeon, Texas and ordained to the ministry by the First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas, where my…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on May 25, 2020 at 11:20am — No Comments

Who am I? Where am I?

Some days, it is not so much who you are as it is where you are. Years ago, when I was the Baptist Campus Minister at the University of Texas, I proved this to be true. One of my staff members and I arrived late for the weekly Austin Baptist Association Pastor’s Luncheon. When we entered the room, someone said, “The Liberals are here, we can start now.” Compared to some of the extreme conservatives in the room and given the fact that we served in a rather liberal university environment, we…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 28, 2020 at 10:59am — No Comments

Wondering in Buffalo, Texas

Recently I passed through Buffalo, Texas and wondered. Have you ever reflected on an early life decision and wondered how things might have gone had you made a different decision? I was in my final semester of my first seminary degree and serving as pastor of my second church, when two choices presented themselves to me. I could move to a larger, full-time pastorate in Buffalo, Texas or I could begin collegiate ministry at…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on March 26, 2020 at 7:17am — No Comments

What Were You Thinking?

A frequent question that follows an unwise action is, “What were you thinking?” It usually implies that had you been thinking properly, you would not have done what you did. An early example for me was watching my buddies smoke grapevine stems. Thinking I might enjoy that also, I lit up and inhaled, only to get a mouth full of ants. “What were you thinking?” Much later in life, I decided I was strong enough to carry heavy luggage all over Germany during a sabbatical leave. That thought…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on February 17, 2020 at 1:44pm — No Comments

God’s Exit Ramps

A new term has been added to modern discussions. I’m hearing the term “exit ramp” used to describe everything from how to end a negotiation, to how to end an assignment. Recently a political candidate spoke of running full speed for office, and not planning an “exit ramp” if it didn’t work out. Best-selling author, Karen Salmansohn wrote, “The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.” Have you ever begun a project, believing it was of God, then…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 20, 2020 at 3:04pm — No Comments

The Pressure of Perfection

Many years ago, I was sitting in Missions class listening to one of my favorite professors, Dr. Cal Guy, lecturing a group of want-a-be-pastors-and-missionaries on the pressure of perfection in ministry. He said something I’ve never forgotten. I didn’t write it into my notes and it wasn’t on a test, but I remember the exact statement. Dr. Guy said, “Released from the necessity of being perfect, you are now free to be good.” Later I would discover he was paraphrasing a line from the end of a…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on December 17, 2019 at 12:56pm — No Comments

Thankfulness Times Three

Many years ago, in the midst of a Thanksgiving sermon, I decided to ad lib. I suggested that everyone think of three people for whom they were thankful and tell them of their thankfulness. After the sermon, my wife asked me who my three people were. I really hadn’t thought about it. The sermon was for others, right? But I decided to take my own advice and thank three people. I have no idea why I challenged that congregation to thank three people, and surely no idea where the number three…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on November 21, 2019 at 11:52am — No Comments

Together is Better

Sometimes I am easily amused, like sitting in a coffee shop, reading T-shirts, while waiting on an appointment with a friend. On a recent day the back of a nearby t-shirt read, “Together is better,” which was a good thought. Then I noticed a scripture reference underneath, Ecclesiastes 4:9, which reads, “Two are better than one.” As I was able to pick up bits and pieces of the conversation, I realized that the one in the t-shirt was offering spiritual counsel with the other person at the…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on October 26, 2019 at 11:17am — No Comments

Settled in the Sanctuary

A few Sundays ago, my pastor preached on Psalm 73, reminding me that I had also preached on that Psalm – several times in fact. It is the age-old conflict of the prosperity of the wicked vs. the suffering of the righteous, and the Psalmist began by asking tough questions. Make no mistake, the wicked do prosper, and our questions make little difference to them. But one must quickly get past the questions to Psalm 73:16-17, “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me –…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on September 27, 2019 at 2:01pm — No Comments

When God is Behind Rather Than in Front

I was recently faced with a major decision concerning my future. I realized that the older I got the fewer options I had, and this one was complicated because it involved financial issues. In the midst of the decision, as I was listening for God’s directions, I read Isaiah 30 as a part of my daily Bible reading. When I got to verse 21, I had to pause, as if it were written just for me. “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’.” “Behind,” I wondered. It…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on August 31, 2019 at 12:22pm — No Comments

Creeping and Soaring

The days are different. Some days I find myself with high energy, desiring to accomplish much. Then on other days, I just want to sit on the porch and sip coffee. Carl Sandburg expressed it this way: “There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.” However, Helen Keller countered with “One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.” The idea that compares youth to soaring like an eagle, is mentioned several…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on July 25, 2019 at 8:30pm — No Comments

From Multi-task to Single Focus

Most of my early heroes were workaholics, and some were also perfectionists. What an amazing, yet deadly mix! No surprise then, that I developed the same two traits. Then I discovered that I was good at multi-tasking. Most of my life, friends seemed to be amazed at how much I could accomplish. I assume, to whatever degree that was true, it was because of the blending of these three ingredients. I had the “disease” of which Nigel Cumberland wrote in his book, 100 Things Successful People Do,…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on June 28, 2019 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

God's Favor

Several times recently I have heard it said that God showed “favor” on someone or some group. Wondering where this phrase originated, I went to multiple translations of the Bible, until I found in the Holman Christian Standard Bible, the following translation: “May Yahweh look with favor on you” (Numbers 6:26). And why had I never seen this verse before, I asked. So, I went to my New King James Bible, as well as a few other translations and found the familiar words, “The Lord bless you and…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on May 25, 2019 at 8:09pm — No Comments

The Things of Earth

It was a sad morning. Several months ago, our neighbors were re-located to a memory care facility. Their three sons had come and gone, taking what they wanted out of the house, then turning it over to an auction company. On the morning of the auction, the auctioneers waited inside, as the crowds began to gather. Eventually, my wife and I walked over to observe the “estate sale.” As we bumped and maneuvered our way through the crowded rooms of the house, we saw strangers taking priceless…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on April 27, 2019 at 11:20am — No Comments

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 8:26am — No Comments

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