Thursday, January 31, 2008


I am praying that God would use you to raise up other missionaries in your travels. As you are being discipled (all of us should be learning) that you would also learn how to disciple another. These quotes are powerful but good.

Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sometimes we don't need another chance to express how we feel or to ask someone to understand our situation. Sometimes we just need a firm kick in the pants. An unsmiling expectation that if we mean all these wonderful things we talk about and sing about, then lets see something to prove it. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Mankind can go anywhere, do everything and be completely curious to discover his surroundings and all that the universe holds. But a person who is curious to know God is a rare find indeed. ~A.W. Tozer

The Jewish crowd has followed Jesus at any time and often He had given them what they wanted, and all they wished for was to use Him for their plans and dreams. Today this attitude still lingers in our minds. We want Him to give us everything without us giving anything; we want to use Christ for our gain instead of Him using us for His glory.~William Barclay

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Resource for making Contacts

This was sent to me by missionary Ron Link. This may help with new contacts as you are setting up meetings. May God bless you greatly as you serve Him.

I have a great new tool that I wanted to tell you about, and if you think it is worthy, you can pass this along to all our missionaries on deputation.
The website is (named for Independent, Fundamental Baptist Tools, so that should give you some confidence in the site) and it has just been put up by a missionary who was a computer programmer before the Lord called him into missions.
I suggest that everyone who uses the site should register, and you will see why shortly. Here is how it all works:
There is a button on the page listed as Find A Church. It brings up a page with two options; you can enter what information you have on a church you want to locate, such as Pastor's name, or the church name and city, or just a name and a zip code, etc, and the site will search its database to locate that particular church and provide the rest of the available information for that specific church.
The other option is at the bottom of the page, and I have found it to be very useful. You simply enter a zip code, such as for an area you already have a meeting booked, and then enter a search radius in miles (i.e. 30458,
15 miles) and it will search for all churches in the database within 15 miles (or whatever number you enter) of the zip code you entered. I have found many churches near places I have meetings booked, that were not in my ACT database.
The reason to register on this website it this: members can click on the name of the church that comes up in the search, and then edit incorrect or missing information. If you have a correct phone number, pastor's name, address, website, etc, you can update the info on that particular church.
That way, we all will have the latest and most accurate database information. You can also remove a church if you know it no longer exists.
Also, there is a button for Add A Church, which allows you to add to the database.
Coming soon is a tool similar to Google Calendar, with which you can manage your meetings online, through the website.
I use Skype for all my calling, and with Skype, all the phone numbers on the website generate a little Skype icon. I simply click on the icon and it automatically dials that church's phone number. No more misdialed calls! It is a great way to make calls.
I sent the website designer a copy of my ACT database and he found 93 contacts in my list that were not in his already, and he added them. And I have found many contacts on his site that are not in my database.
So, you can either use this website as your primary source for calling, or as a supplement to the one you already use. I think every missionary I ever heard of uses that Baptist Info website, and the ACT database we all seem to have has been passed down from missionary to missionary for a decade or more. This website can be a great new resource if we all use it and update it with current information.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wonderful Meeting

What a powerful meeting we had at University Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA last night.

Pastor Gary Ledford allowed us to take some young men with us and I let them lead the singing and preach. Trent Cornwell, youth pastor of Vision Baptist Church, preached an outstanding message that truly stirred our hearts. There was great response during the invitation.

I do not know if you come in contact with churches that need someone for a youth night but remember Trent Cornwell's name. He will be a blessing to any church!!

God bless you as you serve Him today.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thoughts from a Friend

A friend of mine, Trent Cornwell, was talking with me today and I thought I would share some of the things we discussed. I pray they will challenge you as they did me.

Ignorant worship is worship prompted by the idea that God needs something from us. This is a huge mistake. When Jesus says in Luke 9:23 “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” There were men scared of denying themselves, others did not want to take up the cross, but the common denominator among these deserters is that they did not know the “ME” in “follow after me”.

God is self sufficient. Your view of who He is will be reflected in your challenge to the people during you missions presentation.

A.W. Tozer was the editor of Missionary Alliance which stirred 1,000’s of people to give their lives for the cause of missions service. Here are some of his words concerning our missionary presentations and the self sufficiency of God.

“We commonly represent God as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world…

Too many missionary appeals are based upon this fancied frustration of Almighty God. An effective speaker can easily excite pity in his hearers, not only for the heathen but for the God who has tried so hard and so long to save them and has failed for want of support. I fear that thousands of young persons enter Christian service from no higher motive then to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation His love has gotten Him into and his limited abilities seem unable to get Him out of. Add to this a certain degree of commendable idealism and a fair amount of compassion for the underprivileged and you have the true drive behind much Christian activity today.”


The word ambition comes from a Latin word that means, campaigning for promotion. It would be like a candidate trying to get votes.

In the day and age in which we live, a self serving ambition is filling our ranks. A desire to campaign for positions, meetings, support or power. I have been in one too many positions where missionaries have been around a pastor and the self serving ambition fills the situation. Name dropping, fake laughter, mock humility, and "look what I have done" are just a few of the symptoms of this dreadful disease. Lucifer in Isaiah (14:12-15) had this problem. The builders of Babel (Genesis 11:4), Absalom (II Sam 15:4) and Diotrephes (III John 1:9) were also guilty.

Jeremiah 45:5, Baruch was warned that he should not seek great things for himself. While raising support, be careful that what you started for God's glory does not turn into selfish ambition. Why will you make calls today? Why do you preach the way you do? How do you respond around other missionaries? Around other pastors? What lies within your heart today? Will you live to minister or be ministered unto (Mat 20:28)?

May we not forget God or our brothers as we seek to raise support. Be careful of campaigning for promotion (or support) today.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Samuel Brengle and Leadership

It has been stated that one of the greatest things missing from our generation is strong, spiritual leadership. It my reading, I came across this quote that challenged my heart. I pray it does the same for you.

Samuel Brengle, a gifted leader who served for many years in the Salvation Army, outlined the road to spiritual authority and leadership:

It is not won by promotion, but by many prayers and tears. It is attained by confession of sin, and much heart searching and humbling before God; by self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice to every idol, a bold uncomplaining embrace of the cross, and by an eternal, unfaltering looking unto Jesus crucified. It is not gained by seeking great things for ourselves, but like Paul, by counting those things that are gain to us as loss for Christ. This is a great price, but it must be paid by the leader who would not be merely a nominal but a real spiritual leader of men, a leader whose power is recognized and felt in heaven, on earth, and in hell.

You will be the leaders of congregations and preachers. How are you preparing yourself today for tomorrow? Are you growing in your leadership? Who is following you? Where are you taking them? May, by God's grace, we grow in our spiritual leadership for God's glory.

Stay tuned. More on this tomorrow!

Friday, January 18, 2008

What are you seeking?

I have just begun studying the life of a man named Baruch. I do not know much about him, so I thought I would look into his life. One of the things that Jeremiah told this man in Jer. 45:5 was, "And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not:..."

As I go through today, I want to ask myself a few questions:
1. Am I trying to build a great name for myself?
2. Am I looking for honor and respect?
3. Do I get frustrated and angry if people do not respond to me the way I believe they should?
4. Do I have rights?
5. Am I easily offended?
6. Is God really first in my life?

What am I seeking for my life today? Are the meetings for me or God? Will you get mad if pastor's do not give you the attention you feel you deserve today? Will your mindset be, "There is no use making calls today. Everyone knows pastor's will not be in their offices anyway." I seek great things for myself because I think I am great. Whenever I lift myself up, it means I must bring God down. Will I seek great things for myself or will I seek first God's kingdom?

May we put the God of heaven first in all things we do. When we put Him first, everything else falls into place (Matt. 6:33) Seek great things for Him today!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Swift to Hear

In my Bible reading this week, I came through the book of James. In chapter one verse nineteen, James tells us to be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

When you are around a conversation are you o.k. with just sitting there listening? Do you feel an incredible urge to jump in and say something? Does your mind race around looking for just the right thing? Do you have to dominate the conversation?

A mistake that I see missionaries make, and I am sure I have done it as well, is to open their mouth when they should have just opened their ears. When you sit down with a pastor, be comfortable. Make a covenant to God that you will work on your listening skills. Hear what he is saying and then, if need be, respond accordingly. Do not let insecurity dominate your life and make it where you are a loud, dominating conversationalist.

The Bible teaches that even a fool is counted wise when he learns to keep his mouth closed. I praise God that there is hope for guys like me! Today may I be swift to hear, not speak. This Bible principle will help you as you seek to raise your support to get to the field. Learn to listen.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


As I was looking over some articles dealing with revival, I came across some penetrating questions.

1. Is it difficult to confess my sin to God? Yes or No

2. Do I find it hard to ask forgiveness from my family or acquaintances
when I sin against them? Yes or No

3. Is it hard for me to admit when I am wrong? Yes or No

4. Do I have a tendency to want credit for accomplishments? Yes or No

5. Do I desire to get ahead and get a big name and be a success
for personal gratification? Yes or No

6. Do I desire to be recognized? Yes or No

7. Is it difficult for me to publicly display my love for Jesus? Yes or No

8. Is it hard for me to express genuine love and appreciation? Yes or No

9. Do I try to get ahead even at the expense of others? (Am I an
opportunist?) Yes or No

10. Am I ever willing to sacrifice my own honesty and purity of life
in order to be a success? Yes or No

11. Do I defend myself when a fault or sin is pointed out in my life?
Yes or No

12. Is my primary drive to look out for myself rather than serve
others, esteem all others better than myself and help others be
a success? Yes or No

May the God of heaven search our hearts today and remove pride. God truly does resist the proud but gives grace to the humble. May God stir and revive our hearts. God bless each of you greatly today as you serve Him.

Monday, January 14, 2008


George Stephenson was one of eight children whose parents were so poor that all lived in a single room. George had to watch cows for a neighbor, but he managed to get time to make engines of clay, with hemlock sticks for pipes. At seventeen he had charge of an engine, with his father for fireman. He could neither read nor write, but the engine was his teacher, and he a faithful student. While the other hands were playing games or loafing in liquor shops during the holidays, George was taking his machines to pieces, cleaning it, studying it, and making experiments in engines. When he had become famous as a great inventor of improvements in engines, those who had loafed and played called him lucky.

It is amazing how we credit someone as “lucky” not realizing the hard work that went into where they now are. Men on deputation that have a full calendar and good support are labeled “lucky” many times by men who work half as hard. Are you one of the ones that looks at everyone else and calls them “lucky” while you loaf? Commit today to be diligent about the Lord’s work. Put in a full day, and remember, you very likely will be one of the one labeled as “lucky” when it comes time to go home!

May God richly bless each of you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Above Reproach

In our ministry we strive to be beyond reproach in all that we do. Please read the following letter and take heed to the caution.

Dear Bro. Tony,
Pray all is well with you and your family. Hope you had a great Christmas and a Wonderful New Year.
I just wanted to give you a heads up on something that was brought to my attention. I was talking to a young man that has applied to Macedonia recently. He had come on a survey trip to _________ and spent a week or so with me and my family. I had talked to him about deputation and gave him a list of about 38 things that could help him get his support. One of the things on the list was never leave a message on the answering machine. Well he said he had friends (evidently not with MWBM) that would call and leave a message on the answering machine and not tell they were missionaries. I told this young man that was very dishonest and a lie. I would not recommend that kind of conduct. It is best just to try and find the pastor in his office or speak to the missions director. Well to make this short. I was talking to my pastor and he said that recently he had received messages just like this. They would say this is John Doe and could you please call me back. They would not say they were missionaries. My pastor would call of course and find out they were missionaries and be very upset because they were being deceitful. He said he would never give them a meeting or support someone with such conduct. He also said that several of the calls were from MWBM missionaries. He could not say who, because he did not remember. I just wanted to bring this to your attention. I think missionaries on deputation or otherwise should have a high standard of conduct and not do things that are deceitful or dishonest. I am sure you would agree.
I do pray all is well with you and your family. May God bless you and help you much in this coming year. Hopefully we will see you sometime this summer around the home office. We are planning on coming in sometime this summer for a short furlough. God bless again.

This letter was written with love and for your help. Please be careful and keep calling. If you leave a message, let them know who you are and what you do. Let's continue to be beyond reproach.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Keep on Knocking

After calling around 25 of our families with Macedonia yesterday, (I will try to call the rest of you today!), I woke up with this thought on my heart.

In Luke 11:5-13 we find the story of a man who goes to his friend at a late hour for bread because he has a visitor. This man gives him bread because of his importunity. The man would not stop knocking and asking! We then hit the familiar verses of Ask, seek, knock and the promise of seeking, finding and having the door opened.

Deputation and getting meetings is not for the flashy, "gifted", etc. It is for the importunate. Those that will not get discouraged with 35 calls in a row of nothing but answering machines. Those who understand that being turned down or delayed for a meeting is just part of the process of finding those churches God has set aside for your support.

Have you already quit making phone calls and we are not even in the middle of January? Did you start off on fire....for the first ten minutes and then got a "belly full"? Some missionaries have very few meetings while others are already booked through half of '08. Why? The main thing is not the color of their hair, how tall they are or what church they are from. Some choose to knock and others choose to sit on the door step. Which are you?

May I encourage you today to just keep on knocking! I did not say be obnoxious. You have thousands of contacts to call. There are more states than just Georgia and North Carolina. God loves us so much. Verse 13 says how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? May the Holy Spirit lead and guide you as you knock, knock, knock through telephone calls today.

Hey, you might be like one guy I talked with yesterday. In one day he booked seven meetings. I think the record is around 12 but I would take seven any day of the week! You knock and see what God does today! God bless each of you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Just Words?

As I was doing my devotions this week a very powerful thought hit me from I Thessalonians 1:5
"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake."

When we present our field, is it in word only? I fear after all the churches we visit, presentations we give and statistics we share that it turns into a "word only" presentation. May we ask God for His power. May the words we speak be as a hammer breaking through stone. May it grab the attention of the most disinterested person. May it be in the Holy Ghost. Not a bunch of rehearsed flesh but fresh from the Holy Spirit of God. May in be in much assurance. Spoken with a depth and level of conviction that they have never seen before.

I heard a story years ago about two men leaving a meeting in England. As they left one asked the other what he thought. The response given is quite powerful. The man replied, "I have heard better preachers but I have never heard a preacher better." As you prepare to present your burden and preach, may it be more than idle words. May it be delivered in power, the Holy Ghost and much assurance!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


As we have started the new year, I am challenged by this illustration of how men followed their leader and how I follow Jesus Christ.

Several hundred years ago there was an Eastern king with his army who marched with much success as he neared the territory of the young tribal chief, Abu Taber. The king was ready to advance and overthrow this small village but first he sent an ambassador with terms of peace. After hearing this proposal, Abu called one of his soldiers to come forward and handed him a dagger and commanded "Plunge this into your heart", and without hesitation, the soldier obeyed and fell dead at his feet. Turning to the ambassador, Abu said "Go tell your king I have 500 men like that and when the battle is over, I will have him chained with my dogs". The king with his superior army advanced, but numbers were of no avail against the fierce loyalty of Abu Tabor's soldiers. After the battle, the king was chained with Abu's dogs.
Could I challenge you to think of some different ways that your allegiance and dedication to Jesus Christ could be deepened this year? I was stirred by this story but convicted that I would have the same type allegiance to Jesus Christ.
You know, if I had that kind of allegiance, others may want to follow Him as well. God help me to raise up disciples for you as I travel this year!