Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

1.     Dr. Hedgecock – Finally! I obtained my Doctor of Ministry degree in May. So grateful it is finished, for the sacrifice of Christy and my children, and the support of my friends who encouraged me along the way: Kyle and Jamie, and so many more.
2.     Mexico – Christy & I went on a cruise stopping in Prgoresso (swimming in cenotes and snorkeling & dunbuggying in Cozumel
3.     Chloe is Reading and her team Repeated as champions in her basketball league
4.     Coleman dominated in Soccer, football, and school - I am really happy about sports and his early educational development. 
 5.     Clays has one favorite in the world, and so far it is me!
 6.     KC mission trip – The family went to KC and participated in the mission trip together. It was great to share in God's commission as a family. This was a great memory!
7. Father/Son and Father/Daughter Campouts - I am not much of a camper, but I had a great time taking Coleman for an overnight campout in the Spring, and Chloe for an overnight campout in the Fall!
8. Interim Student Pastor – I was our interim youth pastor from January until May.
9. Great Wall Visit – The great wall visit was great, and it is great to be a man officially according to Chinese proverb/folklore... the funny thing is that this is nowhere near the best part of my trip to China, this just represents why this trip made the list!
10. Bible in a year – Typically, I will read ahead and skip a day here or there. In 2012, I read the daily allotment every single day. It was a great thing! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Friend Zig

God has blessed me greatly throughout the years. He has placed tremendous people in my path to learn and glean from. No one has had more of an impact than Zig Ziglar. As a junior high student, I took a leadership class based upon his book See You at the Top. During that class I had heard he taught a Sunday School class at FBC Dallas and wanted to visit it, but never did. As a first year seminary student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, I became frustrated just going to school after a week or two and applied for a job at Prestonwood Baptist as an intern for the Open Division. I had no clue what that even meant, but ended up getting the job after connecting with the minister of that adult division, David Goza.

Unbeknownst to me, the Open Division was an adult department centered around big personalities that drew more than a age range by appealing to people of all ages and life-stages. The true center of this division was one teacher who drew over 500 people each week, Zig Ziglar! After 18 months of working in this division, my boss David Goza left to go pastor a church. Soon thereafter I received a promotion to become the Pastor of the Encouragers Class (Zig’s class) and the Open Division minister. A fellow adult division minister later told me that I only got the job because Zig had lobbied for me to have that job to Pastor Dr. Jack Graham, saying “I was his guy” (the other guy meant that as an insult, but I still think that is one of the coolest compliments I have ever received!).

For the next three years I got to work for and with Mr. Ziglar. Soon after my promotion, Zig asked me to teach his home Bible study. I vividly remember the first Bible study. We sat down, I had prepared, but honestly thought it was going to be him teaching and me listening. As I stared waiting on him to talk, he said, “Well young man, let’s hear what God has placed upon your heart for us.” From that point on, he sat and listened as I taught in his home over the next few years. He never dominated the conversation, never corrected me, he just listened and encouraged me, offering communication advice every so often.

Every Saturday morning during my time at Prestonwood he would call and ask me some sort of Bible question as he was preparing. Yes, he would ask me a Bible question! Yes, he studied for his lesson every week. Zig was the real deal and never took his role of teaching for granted. He was diligent to prepare, even if he had taught that lesson or a similar one before.

Zig also had a distinct desire to leverage his fame for the glory of God. He would talk about how he wanted to use his speaking platform to share Jesus with others. Marketplace Christianity became his theme and emphasis during my days with him. If he had a conference in Dallas, he would invite people to his Encouragers Bible Fellowship class that and every Sunday morning at Prestonwood. He was faithful in church, rarely missing and always sitting front and center in the worship center. He loved the Bible, loved to learn, loved to share, loved to teach. He made the most of his days.

More than any of that, I know Zig & Jean loved me. While at Prestonwood, Zig had a severe case of diverticulitis. He had three code blues, reviving each time and spent several weeks in the hospital. During those weeks, his whole family made me feel like I was one of them. Zig & Jean always had kind things to say to me, encouraging me in all walks of life. They would make it a point to take me out to lunch, give me a hug, and even call just to check in on me. One of my last dinners with Zig & Jean was in Tulsa at his hotel when he came to speak. They listened about our life, and Zig kept telling me I ought to write a book about what God had and was doing in my life.

Over the past few weeks there have been reports on his life and the impact he made on so many. A common theme has been that he was the same man in private as he was from the stage, which is totally true. Just as his impact reached around the globe, his impact also reached people around their hearts. A man in my church told me that he had the opportunity to meet Zig once and visit with him for about ten minutes. He said that ever since that time he felt like Zig truly was one of his friends. For me, that speaks to the legacy of a man that was my friend too. A man that loved His Savior, loved his wife, loved his children, loved his church, loved his friends, and loved me too. May we all be encouraged by the encourager!

Monday, December 17, 2012

11 Attributes Of Great Leadership

1. Honesty – Tell the truth; even if lying is easier.
2. Integrity – Do what’s right; even if nobody is watching.
3. Visionary – Have some vision for where you’re going; empower your team to get you there and if you don’t do anything else.
4.  Self-Awareness – Know who you are; the good, the bad and the ugly.
5. Risk Taker – Be willing to try new things, new strategies and embrace new ideas; even if the ideas aren’t yours.
6. Caring – Truly care about those you lead; people can care less about how much you know until they know how much you care.
7. Stand For Something – Lead by convictions; know why you do what you do and why you think what you think.
8. Spirit Of Development – Develop other leaders; without leadership development, the pipeline of leadership is halted.
9. Good Listener – Be willing to listen; if you’re always talking, there is a good chance you are not listening.
10. Lifetime Leaner – Learn from anything and everything; no matter how many degrees or titles you have, you always have the capacity to learn.
11. Humility – Stay levelheaded and don’t think that you’re better than others; no matter how much success, praise or fortune you receive. 

Scott Williams is the original author of this post.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Authentic Worship's Source

Sunday, November 25, 2012, I had the privilege to preach a sermon called Authentic Worship's Source. The sermon was based out of Habakkuk 3:17-19 that highlights we should Glory in THE God, Glory in Savior God, and Glory in Possessor God. God is unchanging, so if our worship is off, we simply need to Fix Our Eyes on Jesus! You can listen to the message here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Best Commercial on TV: NFL Play 60

This is my new favorite commercial. The line, "become your mom's favorite player," was the clincher for this. Fantastic job NFL Play 60.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

VOTE 2012... for Freebies!?!

Because VOTING may not incentive enough... I mean because it is good to be frugal/a good steward: Take advantage of stores offering freebies for voting:
 Free Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, Ben & Jerry and More on Election Day
Starbucks will give you a free 12-ounce coffee. They will give the coffee to anyone who asks for it.

Krispy Kreme
will give you a free star-shaped doughnut decorated with red and blue sprinkles

Ben & Jerry's
(5pm-8pm) will give you a free scoop of ice cream

will give you a free chicken sandwich with an "I Voted" sticker

There were more, but I deleted them because they were not in my part of the country - much like the electorates the current POTUS will win (zero in my part of the country).

Thanks to for the find.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book Review: You Were Born For This by Bruce Wilkinson

Bruce Wilkinson is best known for his Book, The Prayer of Jabez. In this book, You Were Born For This, Wilkinson focuses on the idea that God is looking to partner with ordinary people in order to accomplish miracles works in the lives of others. The main idea to understand in this book is the thought of a partnership between God and His followers.

This book is broken down into 4 parts. Part 1: Miracles are waiting to be completed through God’s people. We need to be actively looking for opportunities to be His miracle agents. God desires to use come people in uncommon ways for His glory. Part 2: We must be willing to whatever God wants, whenever God wants, to whomever God wants, regardless of our fear and discomfort. Therefore, we must take risks for God! Part 3: God provides you with multiple cues to deliver His miracles to others – so pay attention and be intentional to respond. Being God’s “Miracle Delivery Agent” begins with you and ends with God; focus on your role and trust God to fulfill His role. Part 4: While there are more than just 3 areas where you can deliver miracles, the primary areas are financial (helping financially), dreams (helping people realize their God-given potential), and forgiveness (releasing people from the prison of unforgiveness).

This was a good book. It was definitely an eye-opener to the reality that Heaven is not just a destination, but a place where God is working on an agenda. “Everywhere around us God has urgent work to be done. At all times He is looking for volunteers who will partner with Him. And He isn’t just passively on the lookout; He is actively, constantly, and passionately sending out request” (p. 41). If you fail to realize that God wants to use you, how He wants to use you or how to be used by Him, you need to read this book.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review: 50 Days by Jerry Harris

50 Days: Seven Spiritual Disciplines That Will Shape Your Character is a 50 day devotional book focusing on 7 different biblical characters. It was based upon a prayer the author (Jerry Harris) used to pray on a regular basis:

Give me the Faith of Abraham,
The Humility of Moses,
The Strength of Samson,
The Wisdom of Solomon,
The Spirit of Elijah,
The Heart of David,
And the Love of Jesus.

Each week the reader would read through the story of each character, highlighting evidence of the specific prayer request made in regards to them. At the end of each week the author provides the reader with a challenge to obtain that discipline: worship, fellowship/community, Bible study/reading/memorization, giving, serving, fasting, and sharing Jesus.

We challenged our church to go through this for the past 50 days. It was a good devotion based off a great prayer. If you are in need of a good devotional book and a challenge to your personal spiritual disciplines, this would be a good place to start.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mexico Mission Trip (3 of 3)

Overall, we were impressed with the partnership the BGCO has established with the Guerrero Baptist Convention. To make this a true partnership, they are pairing local churches in Mexico and churches in Oklahoma to truly work together to plant churches. The leader in Guerrero is organized, smart, prayerful, and strategic. Pastors of the church plants were eager to be about the work of the Lord and reach their communities for Christ.
While the whole region of Guerrero is being adopted, we are looking in and around Acapulco for our church plant. It was a bit odd knowing that we were to pick which of the 18 churches we visited pastors/churches we wanted to work with – the pastors we visited knew this was happening too! Fortunately, we had our dates set for 2013 and are working with a church that had already planned a crusade that week. There were several other pastor/church plants more than worthy to work with as well.
I was amazed by some of the stories of sacrifice being made by the pastors we met. One man moved from Cuba to Mexico (without his family, because he felt called of God to Acapulco – his family is try to move to Mexico legally). Several of the pastors moved their families to the neighborhoods they were trying to reach, giving up comforts of their own home for their calling. Pastors were gladly sending members to plant new churches without regard for how big their own church was. The pastors we meet we true Kingdom minded men.
This partnership will not be without its challenges though. Mexico is infamous for the drug cartels and violence associated with them. Many people are scared to travel to Acapulco for this reason, and although it is not nearly as bad as the media portrays it to be, it is a true concern. Also, we will have to deal with people wondering if you can really do a “Real Mission Trip” in Acapulco.
It is my belief that once people visit the city, see the people we will be ministering to, and experience the work God is doing all of this will be resolved. Until, my challenge is to pray for the 15 new church plants, pray for God’s provision and protection, and pray asking God what your role in His work in Acapulco should be.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mexico Mission Trip (2 of 3)

Day 2 – October 23: Sam arrived the night before. We met for breakfast around 8:30, ate with 3 local pastors, and then our church plant tour. Our first meeting was at a weekly pastor’s prayer meeting. Although we arrived late, most every pastor waited for us. The wife of that church’s pastor fixed us lunch (some sort of fish with rice), and we were off. 
We visited 13 different churches that day. It was really encouraging to see the work being done in Guerrero. We did not venture too far outside of Acapulco as the majority of the population is located within a few miles of the primary city. It was nice to meet some new friends. We returned to the hotel worn out a bit after 10:05PM.
Day 3 – October 24: Our day started with breakfast, then we got picked up again by the church planting strategy coordinator for the Mexico Baptist Convention, Calet (he was our host the whole trip). The agenda was to visit 5 more church plants and continue to decipher how God was leading. Much like the previous day, it was constant moving from one church to another, taking time to visit and pray with each planting pastor. The primary difference was that the churches were further spread out. 
The final church we visited was on top the point of Acapulco. Community members do not consider themselves part of Acapulco. There were 120 homes in this neighborhood and it was also the latest target area for a church plant. One widow donated two plots of land to build a church, and a sponsor church is arranging to purchase two more plots of land. The hope is to create a retreat center for churches to use to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Day 4 – October 25: We woke up early and flew home.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mexico Mission Trip (1 of 3)

The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma has entered into a partnership with the Baptist Regional Convention of Guerrero, Mexico with the hope of planting 15 churches by 2015.   October 22-25, Rick and I traveled with the Volunteer and Partnership Missions Director of the BGCO to tour the Guerrero Mexican state and meet some local pastors. First Baptist Jenks is considering a partnership to work with church plants in Guerrero, Mexico. The following will be a series of post detailing our trip and explaining what we are hoping to accomplish in our partnership:
Day 1 – October 22: We traveled from Tulsa to Acapulco. Our plan was to meet up with Sam Porter in Houston, and meet some Mexican pastors when we landed. Sam’s initial flight was delayed and he did not make it to Houston in time to catch the flight to ACA, then he missed his connecting flight in Mexico City, and ended up arriving over 8 hours late. Therefore, when Rick and I arrived at the airport, we simply went to the hotel and took it easy that afternoon. We got there around 3:45 and waited for Sam to arrive for dinner at 8:00, then found out he would not get in until after 10. Unfortunately, Sam's had a terrible day missing flights in OKC, HOU, and MEX, for us though it led to a pretty easy day since our tour guide was MIA... sorry Sam!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Heart Like David

Sunday, October 21, 2012, I had the opportunity to preach on “The Heart of David.” This was part of our 50Days Toward Spiritual Fitness Challenge we have been doing as a church. God revealed five characteristics of David that were used to challenge the church, they are: Humility, Example, Adoration, Repentance, and Training. In order to obtain a heart like David, I followed the lead of the author of the devotional book we are using for this study and challenged the people to increase the personal devotion in Scripture disciplines (reading, studying, and memory, prayer, and fasting. God taught and challenged me greatly in this message and it is my prayer that resonated within the hearts of the church as well. Click here to listen to the message.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review: 10 Who Changed the World by Danny Akin

A friend of mine, Jarrett Stephens, recommended this book to me and I am glad he did. Danny Akin takes 10 great missionaries are correlates their story with a portion of Scripture that he exegetes as well.  There are many tremendous details of famous missionaries’ stories I had not heard, as well as introductions to missionaries I was not familiar with. Without going into great detail about each chapter, I am going to give you the name of the 10 missionaries and the key takeaway I had from them:

1.     William Carey – Not His Own
2.     Adoniram & Ann Judson – All Good Even When Life Is Not
3.     Bill Wallace – Sacrifice Today for the Eternal Tomorrow
4.     Lottie Moon – Living and Loving Loud for the Gospel
5.     Jim Elliot – Passionate Persistent Pursuit of Proclaiming
6.     George Leile – Slave to the Gospel (True First Modern Missionary)
7.     David Brainerd – Unashamed Self-Denial
8.     Eric Liddell – Surrendered Champion
9.     John & Betty Stam – Courageous Glorification in Life and Death
10. James Fraser – The Prayer Missionary

This is one of the true first books I have read just to read since I graduated from school. It was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about missions, missionaries, passion for Christ or His mission. This is an encouraging and challenging read for followers of Jesus.

Book Review: Your Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic

This is a good little book that a man born without any limbs. It is meant to encourage the reader and provide them with hope, regardless of whatever difficulties they might be facing. Nick has become an international speaker who travels around the USA, China, Korea, etc. sharing how he has overcome his adversity and his love for God. The subtitle is good too, “Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life.” This is a book that you could read yourself and pass on to someone else who is in need of a pick-me-up… and if nothing else, it will make you feel good about reading a book from cover to cover in about 15 minutes! Here is a video of one of his talks:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Coleman's TD Run (One of them)

Coleman is playing UpWard football this year. I know, I know, he is only 4 but the kids loves sports and I was not going to tell him no on this request! It has been fun (and trying at times) being a coach on his team, working with they Pre-K Bengals (what a terrible name)! Here is a good video Christy took of one of his TD runs this Saturday (10/16/12).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

10 Secrets Every Father Should Know

This past Saturday, I took Chloe on a Father/Daughter Campout. We had a great time together camping out under the stars… and rain! We also rode 4-wheelers, fished, played, and she had some friends from church there too. The hosting organization took an hour to speak just to dads and on the way out these "10 Secrets” were listed on a handout they provided us with. Here are 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know:

1.     You are the Most Important Man in Her Life
2.     She Needs a Hero
3.     You are Her First Love
4.     Teach Her Humility
5.     Protect Her, Defend Her
6.     Pragmatism and Grit: Two of Your Greatest Assets
7.     Be the Man You Want Her to Marry
8.    Teach Her Who God Is
9.     Teach Her to Fight
10. Keep Her Connected

Monday, September 24, 2012

3 Basic Hiring Requirements (a starting point)

A few years ago I published a post called, "The C's of Hiring Church Staff/Pastors." Today I had a conversation with a buddy of mine that reminded me of this post and he gave me chemistry in a new way, Charisma. Here is a review:

1. Chemistry – are they the type of person you want to spend time with
2. Character – are they the type of person you want to be like personally, in your marriage and family, walk with Christ
3. Competence – are they the type of person you want as your lead pastor in areas of service, theology, past work, maturation, church growt

There are many other requirements (personal walk with God, Call, Commitment, Communicator, etc.), but these 3 cannot be overlooked. Many thanks to Jacob for the talk.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Father/Daughter Campout 2012

Just like Coleman & I did in April, Chloe & I got to experience our first camping adventure together Saturday night. We attended a father/daughter campout hosted by WYLegacy. This group was founded by Bud Baab and has been creating opportunities for Fathers to intentionally connect with their children for over a decade. During the weekend we got to
Setup Camp
And Make Memories (this is as good of an action shot as my phone can take)!
It was a great overnight adventure and I hope we can do it again!