Disciple All Nations

Enhancing On-going Ministry Through Equipping, Encouraging, and Interceding

Summer Songs and Sayings

After several days of temperatures over 100 degrees, what do we have ahead?  More days of the same.  July is hot and dry.  Even then, summer is the subject of lots of songs and sayings.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • “A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawnmower is broken.: James Dent
  • “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” Sam Cooke
  • “Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” George Gershwin
  • “Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind.” Jimmy Seals, Darrell Crofts
  • “One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” Henry David Thoreau
  • “It’s a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do” – Walter Winchell
  • “Dear Weather, Stop showing off. We get it, you’re hot!”  El Arroyo Restaurant
  • “Forget about frying an egg on the sidewalk; this kind of heat would fry an egg inside the chicken.” Rachel Cain
  • “Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above, Join with all nature in manifold witness, To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.” Thomas O. Chisholm
  • “The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone, the people cry, ‘yet we are not saved’!” Jeremiah 8:20 (New Living Translation)

Dr. Dan R. Crawford, Senior Professor, Chair of Prayer Emeritus; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. Former Head of Task Force for the Teaching of Prayer in Theological Education for America’s National Prayer Committee.  Administrative Consultant for the Valley Baptist Missions Education Center.

Recent Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiIxFZI8RX4. Consider subscribing to the weekly Podcasts.


Preaching a Dream

It hasn’t happened very often, but it happened again recently.  I don’t always dream, and when I do, I often don’t remember parts of it the next day, but this particularly Saturday night I had a very clear dream.  In my dream, I remembered a few events from my early years. Then the dream shifted to a Bible verse.  In the dream it was like I was preparing a sermon, complete with outline and illustrations.  I woke up, went to my I-Pad, and started typing the sermon, as I remembered it from the dream. After a little additional work on it, I preached the sermon a few weeks later.  You who are non-preacher types, may not understand this, but we who preach, often know whether a sermon is directly from God or from our own sermon preparation study (which may also be from God, but not so direct).  I would love to hear from some of my preaching friends, as to the frequency of this happening to them, or even if it is very rare – I’m referring to the sermon that comes directly from God, like in a dream vs. the sermon that comes from God as a part of ongoing study and preparation. And I would love to hear from my non-preaching friends, especially those who listen to sermons on a regular basis, can you tell the difference in the two types of sermons described above?  Now, before you think I’ve gone wacky, remember the Old Testament says, “old men shall dream dreams” (Joel 2:28).



Last Saturday was Canada Day and tomorrow is U.S. Independence Day – both representing freedom.  Here are some of my favorite freedom quotes:

  • “May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please but as the opportunity to do what is right.” — Peter Marshall
  • “God keep our land, glorious and free!”  O CANADA
  • “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.” ― Abraham Lincoln
  • “My country ’tis of Thee, sweet land of liberty, for all eternity let freedom ring.” – Samuel Francis Smith
  • “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” – Kris Kristofferson
  • “I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ― John G. Diefenbaker
  • “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” — Nelson Mandela
  • “I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.” Bob Dylan
  • “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17, NASB).


Remember These Things

When believers disagree, whether it be in a local church, in a group of churches, or in an entire denomination of churches, at least four things must be remembered.  When it is all said and done, Jesus wins.  Re-read the back of the Book. I’m not sure that once in heaven, we will be able to look back, but if we can, I am sure we will wonder why we spent so much time disagreeing and so little time on the second thing to remember, which it our primary task and our great commission, to make disciples, who make more disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).  Third, we must agree to disagree without being disagreeable.  Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) far exceeds character assassination. Finally, we must remember that the enemy is not our fellow believer but much larger than that.  We must use our energy against the “principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).  The well-known quote is often attributed to Augustine: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

A Reunion Possibility

In my pre-teenage and early teenage years, I lived on a dead-end street in the West University area of Houston.  On our one block, there was a vacant lot, owned by the man who lived next to it.  One year, after Christmas, he gave us permission to build a Christmas tree fort on his lot.  The five boys who lived on our street collected all the post-Christmas trees and constructed a fabulous fort – off limits to the few girls who shared our street.  If a girl somehow got inside our hallowed ground, we quickly evicted her, and if one dared try to enter, we quoted the rules to her and barred her from entrance.  Never mind that our rules were insensitive, and maybe even poorly written.  “Rules is rules!’ we said to each other.  Best I can remember, I was the only Baptist in our “good-ole-boys-club.”  However, had the others become Baptist over the years, we could have had a reunion in New Orleans last week at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.  “If anyone has ears to hear . . ..” (Mark 4:23).  Jus’ saying!



Change is Everywhere: Baseball and Church

Bob Dylan sang, “The Times They Are A-Changin’”. As further proof of this, another baseball fanatic/friend sent me a copy of “Identifying baseball pitch types in 2023: A modern field guide to MLB’s diversifying arsenals.” The article included discussions on various weapons of a pitcher: Fastball (four seam and two seam), Cutter, Slider, Sweeper, Curveball, Change-up, Screwball, Knuckleball, Splitter, and then the article got in the hybrids. My immediate thoughts were two-fold: (1) glad my playing days ended several decades ago and (2) glad I was a Shortstop, not a pitcher. As a mid-average batter, I only had to worry about a fastball, a curve, and a change—up. If we saw a pitcher with anything other than that, no one else on the team was going to get a hit either. As I often do in my thinking, I switched metaphors from sports to church.  I remember a much simpler Sunday routine: dress up, get to church early, get the hymn book out of the pew rack, sing familiar hymns (in bright lights rather than low-light, theater-type environment), enjoy the choir special, listen to a 28 minute sermon from a preacher who dressed up to honor God, endure the invitation hymn without surrendering to missions, sing a benediction, shake everyone’s hand on the way to the cafeteria (ahead of the Methodists). Paul wrote: Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Even Bob Dylan ends his song with, “the present now will later be past, the order is rapidly fadin’ . . . For the times they are a-changin’.” Amen!

Giving or Investing?

Giving or Investing?

The most dreaded sermon a minister ever preaches is likely one on money. Listeners don’t like hearing it and most don’t comment to the preacher following the sermon with an, “Enjoyed your sermon” favorite. So, I didn’t preach on money yesterday.  I preached on investing and used as an illustration from Mark 12:41-44, which is the account of a woman making a deposit of, “two mites,” which according to Jesus, was “all that she had.”  In other words, she didn’t  just give money, she invested in the Kingdom.  What if God multiplied her coins, let’s say at 4%, compounded semi-annually, for the past 2000 plus years.  I once figured it up on a larger calculator than my small pocket one.  It came to $4,000, plus fifteen more zeros. I used this illustration once and a young man with twelve pencils in his pocket came up and informed me that I had made a mistake, and that I needed 12 more zeros.  Whatever!  What if the interest earned from those “two mites” paid for the church in Houston, Texas where I professed my faith and was baptized? How about, if the “two mites” plus interest paid for the summer camp where I first experienced God’s call to vocational ministry?  Could that interest have paid for the Christian college where I met my wife, and the seminary where I received my education, and taught for twenty-two years?  What could the “two mites” have paid for in your life?  Next time you consider giving, consider it as an investment in the Kingdom of God, and let your mind wonder as to what all God can do with the interest on your investment.


Memorial Day Musings

Today is Memorial Day. Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Memorial Day, as it has been called since 1971, is a federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is observed on the last Monday of May. Here are a few of my favorite Memorial Day Quotes:

  • “All gave some, some gave all” Howard William Osterkamp
  • “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” Lee Greenwood
  • “Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” Unknown
  • “This is the day we pay homage to all those who didn’t come home. This is not Veterans Day, it’s not a celebration, it is a day of solemn contemplation over the cost of freedom.” Tamra Bolton
  • “Lord, bid war’s trumpet cease; Fold the whole earth in peace.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  • “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.” George S. Patton
  • “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” Winston Churchill
  • “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13


Biblical Superhero

Several weeks ago, we celebrated National Superhero Day, which made me think beyond my more recent selections, to biblical possibilities.  Who is my biblical hero?  There are many, but I keep being drawn to a little-known prayer-warrior mentioned only once in the Bible.  The Apostle Paul describes Epaphras as, “one of you, a bondservant of Christ . . . always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12).  He was: (1) a bondservant; (2) a prayer partner; (3) in the will of God.  Why was Epaphras not better known?  Perhaps because he chose the often overlooked, low-profile work of prayer. Laboring in near obscurity he performed the invaluable ministry of intercession.  Others were more visible, and less effective. I want to be like Epaphras – a prayer warrior, in the will of God.  Who is your biblical superhero?


Still Honoring Mother

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  I had an earthly mother for fifty-five years. She has now been in heaven for twenty-seven years.  She was a survivor of tuberculosis when most who had it died with it. Called to be a medical missionary, she earned her Registered Nurse degree and studied at Southwestern Baptist Seminary as the Seminary Nurse. That’s where she met my Dad and found her identify as “Mrs. Preacher.”  While she never became a global missionary, God brought the world to her in the form of international students.  I remember going home from college for a weekend and finding multiple languages being spoken in my living room.  Prayer-warrior extraordinaire, if you googled “Spiritual Gift of Intercession” you might see a picture of my Mom. We jokingly said that she had God on speed-dial.  She was a perfectionist married to a workaholic.  That combination produced me – a workaholic perfectionist – and as hard as that has been, I wouldn’t trade with anyone else. “My child, listen when your father corrects you.  Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9, NLT).

Dr. Dan R. Crawford, Senior Professor, Chair of Prayer Emeritus; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. Former Head of Task Force for the Teaching of Prayer in Theological Education for America’s National Prayer Committee.  Administrative Consultant for the Valley Baptist Missions Education Center.

Recent Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbiJ3KH_rOU. Consider subscribing to the weekly Podcasts.





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