Monday, March 30, 2009

Let’s Make Our Local Congregations Stronger!

From time-to-time, we at DCM are accused of trying to get money from people. When people who know Nancy and me hear this statement, they find it quite humorous. Let’s be very frank and very up front. We teach tithing on the DCM website. But check out the following:

DCM does not expect people to tithe to us. DCM does not demand that people tithe to us. When we teach tithing, we teach that the Christian should tithe to his local church!

I find it disappointing to see churches that could be doing so much more, but cannot because their members don’t tithe. They could be providing more services to the brethren and to the world if they weren’t so stingy with their church contributions.

Indeed, this is a hot button topic in the Church these days. People have all kinds of excuses for not tithing. For example, they point out that they have seen tithes misused in the past and, therefore, tithing is now somehow done away with. Or they say, “I tithe, but I do it in my own way by spending my tithes on what I think is best.”

Let’s be clear that tithing is like prayer, fasting, and Bible study. Whether a person does these things properly is ONLY between him and God. I can’t judge him in this situation. Judgment in these matters is reserved exclusively for Jesus. You and I should never try to sit in our Savior’s seat and perform his function.

We are to judge doctrines and teachings. But only Jesus can judge actions, motives, and the heart.

At DCM, we believe we have a responsibility to encourage our brethren to do the right thing. We teach people to pray and study and fast. And we teach that people should tithe!

Get with it, brothers and sisters! Let’s be obedient to God not just in Sabbath-keeping and observing the laws of clean and unclean. Let’s be obedient to him in all matters! Tithing helps your local church.

It is along these lines that I am pleased to make the following announcement: DCM is now going to have a page with contact information for independent Sabbath-keeping churches. From time-to-time, we receive questions such as: “Is there a church in a certain city? I will be traveling there next weekend.” Or some will say, “I have a relative in a certain city and I want to encourage him to start attending church.”

It is our hope that this new list will help people get connected to churches.

If you are going to be travelling to another city over a weekend, I encourage you to visit a local church in that city! Don’t just sit around on the Sabbath if you can be fellowshipping with other Christians! Use this trip as an opportunity to meet new people. Make new friends. Share your love. Yes, a new group will probably be different than what you are used to. But it’s not going to kill you to fellowship with a group that has a different approach to Sabbath-keeping than your regular group. You might learn something.

Let’s do all these things (prayer, Bible study, fasting, tithing) as we work to make our local congregations stronger!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Can We Please Not Do That Anymore?

I really don’t like it when a guy gets up to preach in church and he decides to use his sermon time as an opportunity to introduce some “new” doctrine. I figure there are better venues in which to introduce this type of discussion. I also don’t like it when someone performs special music which contains elements that go against the congregation’s belief system. There should always be a certain etiquette when we assemble on the Sabbath.

I mean, if I were asked to preach about Jesus in a Sunday-keeping church, I’d try to talk about elements of our Savior that they and I have in agreement. I certainly wouldn’t use their pulpit as an opportunity to promote something like the Sabbath or observing the laws of clean meat. There’s a proper time and place for things like this.

That being said, we must acknowledge that occasionally someone will manipulate his way into being in front of a local Church of God group so he can either preach or sing something that goes against our beliefs. You may have witnessed this.

And, if you did, how did you react?

One of the reactions I wish we could get away from in God’s Church is the standing up and walking out of services in a huff. This is usually followed by some type of tirade to an innocent bystander in an adjoining room. The offended party so needs “to vent!” I’ve seen this happen several times in church.

And I don’t understand this. How difficult is it to sit and listen to something that is not scripturally accurate? How hard is to open one’s Bible, start reading, and tune out the offending message? Wouldn’t this be the preferable way to handle it?

Someone asks, “So you’re advocating that we just accept wrong teachings in church?” Not so. I just think a better time for protest would probably be a few days later. At that point, the offended person should go to whomever is in charge and say, “Can we please not do that anymore?”

In such a situation, the person in charge might just say, “I agree with you. That shouldn’t have occurred. I’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again.” And, if he has manners and knows principals of good customer service, he might even thank you for bringing the problem to his attention.

Sometimes it’s not best to try to react to a bad situation in the heat of the moment. Sometimes, it’s best to let things cool. Pray about it. Think about it. Determine who would be the best person to talk to. Determine the best time to talk to that person. Measure your words.

No, we should not blindly permit anything and everything to be presented in our worship services—whether it is a sermon or a song or an announcement or prayer request. Indeed, we need to speak up when things are said and done that are not correct.

But we don’t have to make an ugly scene when things go wrong. We don’t have to demonstrate what we sometimes incorrectly call our “righteous indignation.” Most of the time, it is preferable that we quietly endure and later politely request, “Can we please not do that anymore?”

Using civility and good manners is just another way we can show love for one another.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Buckaroo Bob Moves!

I wanted to share an exciting development with you. Buckaroo Bob has moved to two new homes!

Buckaroo Bob’s Neighborhood will now be presenting regular shows in the Tyler Church of God (Tyler, Texas) and at Cornerstone Fellowship (Atlanta, Texas). We have already done puppet shows for both groups.

When we travel with the puppet show, we have two portable puppet houses. Each group has invited us to put a puppet house in its building. Each group has just very recently moved into its new facility!

The Tyler Church of God just finished their new building. It is at 14151 Rhones Quarter Road (FM 2964). Their web site is For more information about their Sabbath services, contact Jon Coffee at 903/582-9328. Or you may email him at

Cornerstone Fellowship recently got their own building. It is located at 2814 Main Street in Atlanta Texas 75551. For more information about their Sabbath services, contact Richard Davis at 903/293-2224 or at 870/774-7008. Or you can email

We are really excited to be able to serve these two churches in this way. We have also taken our DCM Trio to both places to sing. And I have preached at both places. This is the very thing that DCM was designed to do. DCM is not a church. It is a ministry that serves local churches.

I hope that you someday have the chance to fellowship with at least one of these two groups. I encourage you to contact them if you are ever nearby on the Sabbath and can come visit them. They would love to have you as a visitor. You will find both groups warm and hospitable.

The two groups are different in some ways, but each group has the love of God. The Tyler group has a more formal church service. Their congregational singing is usually hymns. The Cornerstone group has a lot of kids and has a more interactive church service. They usually sing praise music.

Whatever your preference for how Sabbath services are organized, I hope you will always keep an open mind when visiting other groups. The days of all church services being run exactly the same are over. There are less and less “yellow pencil” Churches of God. You may not like this change within the Body of Christ, but we must accept the fact that we cannot turn back the hands of the clock. We are in a new era. I have learned to enjoy this diversity that I see in different local congregations.

Whatever format a church uses, let’s all love one another as we obey God by keeping His Sabbath and as we preach the true Jesus with the world.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Helpers of Our Joy

Last Sabbath, I had the pleasure of hearing a couple of lectures about the history of the Church of God Seventh Day by Robert Coulter. Brother Coulter has served the Church of God Seventh Day (CG7) in many capacities over the decades. He was the president of the Denver General Conference for 24 years. He has also served as the Southeast District Superintendent, pastor of numerous churches, writer, author, and missionary to third world countries.

I worked closely with Mr. Coulter years ago when he was pastor and I was a member of the Grand Prairie, Texas CG7. It was during his pastorate that I came to better understand the Scripture which talks about ministers being helpers of our joy.

As pastor, Brother Coulter was able to meld various personalities together into a unified congregation. It was under his leadership and service that attendance increased dramatically. Because of his vision, many people were able to set up different ministries in that local group.

Brother Coulter stayed away from politics in the Grand Prairie church. He made everyone feel welcome. No one felt that he administered the church unfairly. He showed no favoritism.

I had the pleasure to serve on the local board in Grand Prairie while Brother Coulter was pastor. He came to a board meeting one day and said, “I am entitled to two weeks vacation and, with your approval, I would like to take off these two weeks.” He then gave us the dates. I wasn’t used to a pastor asking members for approval on vacation time.

Naturally, we approved his request. Then, one of the board members asked him what he was going to do with his two weeks. We wondered if he was going to go fishing or spend time playing golf or perhaps go see the Lawrence Welk Theater in Branson. He said, “No. I am going to go do some mission work in Africa for those two weeks.”

I was astounded and impressed that he would spend his two weeks of vacation preaching the Gospel of Jesus. What an example he was to his flock!

In this age when so many men who claim to be ministers of Jesus while lording over their flocks, I hope everyone in the Church of God can at some point have the pleasure to be in a church whose pastor demonstrates the humility demonstrated by Brother Coulter.

Nancy and I further had the pleasure of having lunch with Brother Coulter and his lovely new bride, Ida, yesterday. It was a great opportunity for him and me to reminisce about the old days. I didn’t hesitate to tell him how much I appreciated his service back in Grand Prairie.

Does your pastor exhibit humility and love and fairness? If he does exhibit these wonderful virtues, I hope you will tell him that you appreciate him. If not, I hope you will someday find a pastor like Brother Coulter.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Feast of Tabernacles 2008

Nancy and I just got back from the Feast of Tabernacles. It certainly was not a mere vacation. It was a lot of work. But was it fun!

We began by driving to Destin, Florida (Big Sandy Church of God Feast site) where I gave a sermon on the opening day. The sermon talked about why the world NEEDS the return of Jesus. People may THINK they don’t need Jesus to return, but they’re wrong. Jesus MUST return if this world is going to survive.

We then went to the United Christian Ministries Feast site in Sevierville, Tennessee. We stayed in a huge cabin in the beautiful Smokie Mountains. Staying there with us were Wynn Skelton, Kim Skelton, Wayne Weese, and Karen Weese (Nancy’s older sister).

While in Sevierville, Wynn and I both gave sermons. Wynn’s was titled “Time To Shine” where he talked about how important it is for a Christian to let his light shine brightly to the world. Mine was titled, “Evangelism in the 21st Century.” It talked about how there is not enough evangelism going on in the Churches of God even though it is important it is for us to be fishers of men to the unsaved.

Karen, Kim, Nancy, John Blevin, Vickie Mouland, and I put on three puppet shows.

And Wynn, Kim, Wayne, Ray Wooten, Carol Boyer, and I performed three songs.

It seemed to me that, every time I turned around, Wynn was playing praise music with some group of people before services, during services, after services, and during the fun show. The Sevierville site certainly had some of the best Christian music I have heard in a long, long time. Maybe the best ever.

The reason I bring all this up is that all of this material will soon be up on the DCM website! You can watch these things on video or listen to them on mp3. Our little group put a lot of time into preparing all these things, so I think you will enjoy them and be inspired by them. I hope these things will be posted on DCM by around November 1. Why don’t you make a note on your calendar to start watching for them soon after November 1?

And, believe it or not, our little group is already making plans for next year’s Feast! We are already working on new puppet shows, teen classes, and sermons. We are also thinking of recording a DCM broadcast before a live audience at next year’s Feast of Tabernacles.

I hope you had a great Feast too. If not, perhaps it is because you stayed home or perhaps you went to a site that did not fill the needs of you and your family. If that is the case, why don’t you start making plans for next year right now? Why not start saving your vacation time for this wonderful commanded assembly? Why not start looking for a Feast site which will bring joy to you and the ones you love?

I know it’s early, but have a great Feast in 2009!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

What About Your Feast Site?

Even though I don’t belong to any political party, I wanted to watch some of the speeches at the recent national conventions held by the Democrats and the Republicans. And I was impressed that the speakers presented powerful messages of hope. Oh yeah, they spent time bashing each other. But the biggest part of every speech that I heard had a positive vision for America.

Someone might say that all this positive rhetoric was just a cynical attempt to sway voters. Maybe. However, I kinda believe that there was at least a minimum of sincerity involved in all this partisan rhetoric. I think these men and women genuinely want what’s best for our country.

But their level of sincerity is not my point. Here is what I think is most important: Why can’t the ministers in Sabbath-keeping Church of God movement present more messages of a positive nature. God’s people need more sermons about hope. Especially at the Feast.

I have been keeping the Feast since 1971. I have been to many Feast sites over the years and have come to the conclusion that each Feast site has its own spirit. There are many Feast sites available to God’s people this year. Some locations will place considerable emphasis on conspiracy theories or pushing worldly politics or pushing goofy doctrines or trying to understand prophecy by reading the Bible and Time magazine simultaneously.

If you go to a Feast site that does things like this, I’m sorry to tell you that none of the above is preaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. Most of the above is a waste of time and serves no good purpose at a place where God has supposedly placed His name.

I hope you are going to obey God by attending the Feast this Fall. And I hope you will ask yourself to evaluate the kind of Feast site you will be attending.

Hopefully, it will be a place where Jesus is preached as the world’s future King of Kings.

Hopefully, it will be a place where people are encouraged to be good ambassadors for that future kingdom.

Hopefully, it will be a place where God’s present-day ambassadors are admonished to follow the fruit and nut admonition which says that we were called to bear fruit—not to act like a bunch of nuts.

Hopefully, it will be a place where the true Jesus is taught—not the false Jesus of the world’s churches.

You and I have freedom to keep the Feast or not keep the Feast. You and I have the freedom to attend the type of Feast site we want to.

Freedom is a two-edged sword. Each person is free to make his/her own decisions on doctrine and church administration. Unfortunately, too many of God’s people have not figured out that freedom must always be accompanied by responsibility.

If you have a family, you have a responsibility to take them to a Feast site where they can be inspired. People often say the following about attending church services on the Sabbath, “I come to church to feel better. If I leave church feeling worse than when I walked in the door, then I may need to find a new church.”

The same applies to a Feast site. If your family leaves a Feast site on the Last Great Day feeling worse than when they arrived, you may have taken them to the wrong Feast site.

As you make your Feast plans, may God guide you to choose your Feast site wisely—avoiding any place that promotes futile irrelevancy as you seek a location which preaches the wonderful hope of Jesus.

I hope you obey God and go to the Feast. And I hope you have a great Feast!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Value of Young People in Doing God’s Work

Several weeks ago, Nancy approached a young lady in our church about participating in the Dynamic Christian Ministries broadcast. The young lady’s name is Jennifer Killingley. I have known Jennifer’s parents for years. We went to college together in the 70s in California.

Nancy and I wanted Jennifer to be on our broadcast because she is intelligent and witty. She attends college on several academic scholarships. She is sweet-natured.

Before Nancy approached Jennifer about being on the broadcasts with us, we tried to come up with persuasive arguments as to why she should do this. We thought we came up with some good ones.

So now Nancy was ready to call her on the phone and ask if they could chat face-to-face. Armed with her arsenal of reasons as to why Jennifer should say “yes,” Nancy went into the meeting and began her discussion with Jennifer. Nancy was astonished that, before she could get all her reasons out, Jennifer quickly said she liked the idea. Nancy was taken aback. She felt that perhaps Jennifer was accepting only because she was afraid to say “no” to an older person in the Church. So Nancy suggested, “Why don’t you think about it for a few days? I’ll call you and ask for your answer.” Jennifer agreed.

Nancy figured she’d call Jennifer in about three or four days, but Jennifer beat her to the punch. Two days later, Jennifer called Nancy and said, “I want to do this!” Needless to say, we were thrilled to add Jennifer to our cast. So far, we have recorded three broadcasts with her and we are totally pleased with her contribution to the program.

[BTW, we just posted on the DCM website our two most recent programs which we recorded last Labor Day. These broadcasts deal with our on-going study of the book of Genesis. I hope you check them out. They are entitled: “Giants, Fallen Angels, and God’s Law—Parts 1 and 2.”]

Here is the important part of this whole thing. Jennifer is only 17 years old and she is being used as an instrument to preach the truth of God’s Word! She does this with poise. She is articulate. She projects her message clearly.

There is no doubt in my mind that some will be offended by this and say, “Preaching the Gospel is not a job for cute little girls. This job should only be done by old men. This is our church tradition.”

I have stated from the beginning that for the DCM broadcast we were NOT going to put an old man in front of a bookcase filled with books he has never read and have him preach. This is what so many of the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God are already doing. And it is their business how they do their outreach. They need to do what they are comfortable with. Our feeling is that this “old-man-in-front-of-a-bookcase” method worked in the 50s and 60s, but we feel the need to preach Jesus in a more contemporary fashion in the 21st century. We feel that Jared and Jennifer will do much to help us reach younger viewers and listeners. Jared and Jennifer can appeal to younger audiences better than Nancy and I can.

We know that young people cannot do everything that the more mature and older folks in God’s Church should do. But I do know from experience that young people can do a lot more than they do now.

I have found that it’s usually not their unwillingness to help that keeps young people from serving. More often than not, young people do not help because the older adults don’t have the foresight to ask them! Most of the time when I ask young persons to help out with things, they willingly agree. They may be shy about it at first. They may initially feel a little insecure about having the ability to do the job. But with guidance and reassurance, they inevitably perform the task that ultimately benefits the body of Christ.

We need to involve our young people more in feeding the flock and preaching the Gospel. And we want this not so we older people can sit back and take it easy. No. This is not the age in man’s history when any of us can go on vacation. Everyone of all ages must work hard to teach and do God’s will.

Back to these two young people that I am so proud of…

I don’t know how long Jared and Jennifer will be willing or able to be part of our broadcast team. Nancy and I realize that, as young people, they have a lot of interests. They certainly need to be mindful of their educations and their careers. So the day may come when they will need to move on from the program.

In the meantime, Nancy and I feel that God has blessed our broadcasts with these two wonderful young people. At this time, I am asking that you take time to regularly pray for Jared and Jennifer--that God will guide and direct their lives not only as they continue to be obedient to God and His Word, but also as they enthusiastically do their part to preach the Gospel of the true Jesus of the Bible.