Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Third Party Voting

Are you  fed up with the two party system? Do you feel that voting for either party is essentially the same and are considering voting for a third party? According to ballotpedia.org "As of August 31, 2020, there are 1,186 candidates who filed to run, including:

  • 323 Democratic candidates
  • 163 Republican candidates
  • 65 Libertarian candidates
  • 23 Green candidates"

They layout their case that there are only four "notable" candidates and parties:

Biden (D)

Trump (R)

Jorgensen (L)

Hawkins (G)

For many people, it comes down to issues. For some, it comes down to the character of the candidate. We can debate all we want, but the reality is, a third party vote is essentially wasted.  I wish it wasn't, but it is. The third party votes by conservatives fed up with their party only subtracts from the more conservative of the two. Third party votes by moderates fed up with their party, only subtracts from the more moderate of the two.

In reality, the decision for most people is between Trump and Biden.

For me, and most Americans who don’t actually hate a candidate, we have a few months to determine for ourselves, who is the better man for the job.

On the one hand, there is the incumbent who has an ego like Nebuchadnezzar. He’s definitely not a politician but seems to care about his country.

On the other hand, the challenger is a career politician who has some genuine cognitive issues. His character flaws are as blatant as the incumbent’s but his concern for our country seems to be along party lines.

Does character matter? Absolutely! Do issues matter? You better believe it!  What about voting your conscience? Sure, if you want your vote to ensure the one you dislike the most wins. Isn't that a cop out? Not if you look at reality and know that either Biden or Trump is going to win. There is no way for a third party candidate to win, at least not in THIS election.

Reality says it’s going to be one of the characters from the two party system. Voting your conscience for a third party candidate is only good in your opinion.

One of these years, I would love to have a candidate that I truly supported rather than voting against someone. I suppose I will support Trump, but I certainly don't like everything about him. And I certainly wish he would have someone monitor his Tweets...

Nevertheless, I urge you to look back at a post I made a few years ago,  My Grandmother Was a Life-Long Democrat.  Of course, vote your conscience. But don't waste you vote!

And, no matter who is president, don't forget to pray for them and for our country!

God Bless America!

Saturday, August 01, 2020

13 Years Pastoring

13 years is a long time. This past year seems to be the longest. I, nor any of my friends, have ever faced the challenges of being a pastor during a pandemic.

13 Year Anniversary Pic
At least since mid-March, traditional conventional ministry, at least personal pastoral ministry, has been anything but normal or conventional. I have faced criticism from folks for following the recommendations of the CDC and closing down for public services. Likewise, I have faced criticism for not closing down soon enough and/or reopening too soon. There is literally no way to please everyone. And the pastor will be the one blamed if anything regarding the pandemic goes wrong within the church.

Falls Creek was cancelled. So was KBA. We made the heart wrenching decision to cancel Vacation Bible School.

There are several older members who I have not seen in person since March and they refuse to allow me to visit them in their homes. In fact, I’ve only been in a handful of members’ homes since March. I hate it.

Nevertheless, I have continued to preach every week. We never had a completely empty sanctuary. We have had a couple people saved and I was honored to baptize 3 people last Sunday. We have been on Facebook Live and have had hundreds of viewers. We are back to “normal” except for Sunday evening services. Attendance is suffering. We are at approximately 35-40% of regular attendance. Giving is down. We were the first in town to reestablish our children and youth programs. But we have also lost several people through this crisis.

Nevertheless, through all of these issues, God has been faithful. We were able to raise over $7000 for our Pakistani Christian friends who are suffering more than we are. Both children and youth were afforded the opportunity to attend an alternative to camp this past week, thanks to the efforts of volunteers.

If you'd like to watch the live service online, go to facebook.com/immanuelsouthern at about 11 am (Central) on Sunday mornings.  If you'd like to contribute to our church, you can also do that online at http://www.bfok.org/give-immanuelsouthern

I don’t know what the future looks like, but I know who holds the future! God is good- all the time!


Monday, July 27, 2020

Is Everyone God's Children?

I hear it all the time, "We are all God's children."

It is a nice sentiment, but it isn't true. Actually, there are a whole lot of nice sentiments that aren't true, but I digress...

What IS true is that we are all "created in the image of God." (Refer to Genesis 1:27). In other words, we are all God's creation. BUT, that doesn't make us His children.

Children, whether natural born or adopted are heirs of their parents. We are not naturally born into God's family. We are adopted by means of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. (Refer to Ephesians 2:8-9) Actually, that is the ONLY way to be adopted in to God's family. (Refer to John 14:6)

So, where does the idea that we are "all children of God" come from? It comes from bad theology and wishful thinking.

You see, to be adopted into God's family, certain things need to happen. The first is that a person must feel the conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit. The second is that they must trust Jesus to be their savior.

Those two things are entirely necessary, but certainly not natural. Very few people will admit that they are sinners under their own power. No one likes to think of themselves as broken or blemished. But, until that happens, that is, that you realized that you are lost, in danger, in mortal/eternal peril, there is no need to seek out a savior.

Then, this is where things get tricky. The world says that if we are good enough, we will go to Heaven; that if our good outweighs our bad, we get judged "good." Unfortunately, that isn't how this works at all.

God says (and He should know) that sin (being bad) separates us from Him and that our bad deeds have to be rewarded with death. BUT He also says that He loves us and wants us to be saved from that horrible "reward." He says that He showed the whole world that He loves us by sending Jesus to take that horrible reward for us, even though we were still being bad.

He says that if we "openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in [our] heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved!" (Refer to Romans 10:9)

That's it. That's how you become a true child of God! Not by doing good things. Not by being dunked or sprinkled by a preacher or priest. Not by living the best live you can live. Not by going to church. Not by giving money. Not by any other way. And it has to be through Jesus only! He was the one that took the horrible reward for your sin. Not any other person who has ever lived.

So, how about you? Are you a true Child of God? If you need some help getting there, leave me a message or get in touch with me. God loves you; and so do I!

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Novel Security

https://www.facebook.com/safebooksbyrick/

I have started making and selling safebooks. Safebooks are books that have been hollowed out, creating a great place to hide valuables in plain sight.

Safebooks make excellent gifts for yourself or others. They are quite affordable, starting at only $20. There are two upgrades available: magnetic closures and pick and pluck foam. Each upgrade is $15 each.

I make safebooks out of a variety of novels, textbooks, dictionaries, etc and can often fulfill special requests. I will also cut a book that you provide, creating that extra personal touch.

I will be happy to mail your custom safebook at actual USPS postage. Special orders can take up to two weeks to create by hand.

Below are some examples of books I have made. If they are still for sale, the details of the booksafe will be in the caption.

For an up to date look at my inventory, please click this link in FaceBook.

Contact me at this email address with inquiries.

#26 F&W 1971 Approx inside dimensions 4 x 7 x 1.25 $20

#26 F&W 1971 Approx inside dimensions 4 x 7 x 1.25 $20

#27 USCA Bankruptcy Approx inside dimensions 4 x 7.75 x 1.25 $20

#27 USCA Bankruptcy Approx inside dimensions 4 x 7.75 x 1.25 $20

#46 Runaway Jury. Approx inside dimensions 4.5 x 7.5 x 1. $20

#46 Runaway Jury. Approx inside dimensions 4.5 x 7.5 x 1. $20

#47 Hidden Prey. Approx inside dimensions 4.25 x 7.25 x 1. $20

#47 Hidden Prey. Approx inside dimensions 4.25 x 7.25 x 1. $20

Whose Broad Stars - Magnetic Closures and Foam - $50

Whose Broad Stars - Magnetic Closures and Foam - $50

Whose Broad Stars - Magnetic Closures and Foam - $50

Special Order - Not for Sale

Special Order - Not for Sale

Red Leather - SOLD

Red Leather - SOLD

Saturday, August 03, 2019

15 Years on Blogger

Today marks 15 years that I first began my blog. I was in Thailand at the time and thought it was a good thing to do.

Then came Facebook.

My blog has certainly suffered in the past 5 years or so. Facebook fulfills my need for posting pictures and such.

But the blog has it's place, too. When I want to mark an occasion or when I want to expound on a subject that might be censored by FB, I write it here.

There is a big of ego-stroking, I'll have to admit, in having a blog with your name on it. Frankly, when I bought the domain, I was hoping to become a published author and this would be my platform. I still hope and dream.

Nevertheless, BoyneBlog or now, RickBoyne.com is still alive.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

12 Years as Pastor


Today marks 12 years that God called me to pastor Immanuel Southern Baptist Church. I have seen many blessings in these 12 years. Many ups and many downs. Many joyful occasions and many sorrowful ones.

I have baptized new believers and presided over baby dedications, baptisms, weddings and funerals. I have offered countless prayers for the sick or discouraged, delivered somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 messages, and led thousands of songs.

I've had pies in my face, been dunked in a dunk tank, and dressed up in crazy costumes for Vacation Bible School. I driven thousands of miles, attended hundreds of meetings, and know how to navigate every hospital in NE OK.

But it isn't all about me. For sure. It is God Who has been at work at ISBC. He is the One who has saved souls and transformed lives. He is the One who gives comfort and healing. He is the One who stirs the hearts of men and women, boys and girls, to hunger for His Word, to live according to righteousness, and to have a passion for the lost. I am merely a tool in His hand.

I praise God for His faithfulness to His congregation and to me and my family. God is good, all the time!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

20,000 Days Ago

I was born 20,000 days ago!  That is quite a thing to think about.

I've been thinking about it for a long time, as I actually created this post on October 5, 2010, in anticipation of this day.

The Bible says to "count your days", so I did!

Friday, March 15, 2019

My Grandmother Was A Life-long Democrat

My maternal grandmother was a life-long Democrat.

She would always give me the party line: Republicans are for the rich; Democrats are for the common man.

In the fifteen to twenty years prior to her death, she really razzed me for ditching the Democrats. Her relatives would pull funny pranks on her like getting a picture of George Bush and having it faked autographed to his "biggest fan."

She was of, what I would call, the "old Democratic party." Back before they changed.

A few years before she passed away in 2012, after Obama had been president for a couple years, she called me and said she desperately needed to speak with me. While we didn't see eye to eye in politics, we held the same moral values.

She said that she felt the Democratic party had changed to the point that she no longer felt comfortable calling herself a Democrat. She said they no longer were for the common man, but seemed to be trying to tear America down.

She asked this question, "Without becoming a Republican, what else can I be?"

I knew this was something very serious, as for as long as I could remember, she said she would always be a Democrat.

So, we talked about her choices. We talked about becoming a Libertarian. She didn't like that so much because it sounded too much like becoming a Liberal.  We talked about her becoming an Independent. She didn't really like that because there aren't too many Independent candidates in Oklahoma and many of the local elections are settled in the primaries.

In the end, she finally asked me about the Republican party.  As I explained things the best I knew how, she exclaimed, "Well that's not what I thought they were at all!" She went on to say that they sounded more like she believed than she was led to believe.

She didn't make it to the next presidential election. As her health rapidly declined, I don't think she was ever able to register in a different party.

But I know that this life-long Democrat left the Democratic Party over values.

Let's face it; the Democratic Party today isn't the Democratic Party it was even 25 years ago. In recent DNC events, they tried to remove God from their platform and actually booed when the moderator fudged to get it back in.

In the 2016 election, they completely rigged the system against Bernie Sanders, then reportedly paid him off for his trouble.

In the past two years, they have doubled down against the traditional values in America, seemingly for the sole purpose of getting votes to remain in power.

They are willing to kill babies at the time of their birth.

They think the government should pay for sex-change operations.

They think the borders should be left wide open.

They have openly called for the confiscation of guns.

The list goes on.

Here's the deal. I'm not advocating anyone necessarily becoming a Republican, but please, for the love of God and country, walk away from the Democrats. Wake up and see what they are doing to our country.

No political party is perfect, for it is man's institution. And good grief, the Republicans have their own problems! To be honest, I wish we had something called the Patriot's Party that was the real deal alternative to the the big 2.

Most of the local elections where I live seldom have any third party candidates, and often, they only have Republican candidates, so, I'll stay put where I am for a while. I'd almost become a Libertarian, except for their views on abortion and marijuana.

But it says a lot to me, when a woman in her 90's, is seeking to find something different because in good conscience, she could not longer be a Democrat.

Friday, February 08, 2019

A Tribute to Bill Sherrill

Bill and Beth Sherrill

My friend and mentor, Bill Sherrill, finished his journey on this earth and went to be with his Savior, Jesus Christ, this week.
Bill and Me in 2015

I first met Bill back in 2007 when I first arrived back to the US after serving with the IMB for a decade.
2013 KBA Staff Pic

A lot of what I have to say about Bill, I wrote in a tribute to him when he retired two years ago because of the effects of a brain tumor and its treatment.

Here is that tribute:


For the past 9 ½ years, you have been my pastoral mentor. You have invested in my life to help me be a better pastor; a better man.
You have walked with me through some very difficult times in ministry and in my personal life and celebrated with me when all seemed to be right in the world.
Bill, you are an example of a godly man. You are generous and loving. I know you to be righteous and zealous for the Lord. In the face of difficult circumstances, your motto has been, “I’m just trusting the Lord; He knows best.”
When Sally and I first returned from the mission field, you spent hours with me helping to determine what God had next for us. You spent an entire day driving me around to all the pastorless churches in our Association and prayed with me at each church for God’s direction.
Over countless meals, we’ve discussed theology, missiology, eschatology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and every other kind of ology you can think of.  And sometimes, just talked about the weather, because that’s what friends do.
We have laughed together; cried together; traveled together; worked together; and even schemed together.
Through all of this I have come to know several things that are patently obvious:
You love the Lord with all your heart.
You love Beth and married WAY above your station.
You love your family: your kids and grandkids.
You love this Association.
You love people and want to see lost people saved and God’s kingdom increased.
I also know that you care about me.
[And if you know Bill at all, you know he cares about you, too.]
As you write this next chapter of your life, I want to remember that God isn’t finished with you yet. You don’t get to fully retire from ministry until you hear “well done, good and faithful servant.” I want to encourage you to find a place of service. As long as you are breathing, you are important in God’s Kingdom.
I want to thank you, Bill, because you’ve made a difference in my life.
Addressing the pastors of the Muskogee Baptist Association in 2010

We are going to bury Bill's earthly tabernacle today. But, as fellow believers in Jesus Christ, we will see him again. I'm going to miss my friend.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Racism? Hate Speech? Seriously?

When I was critical of Obama, I was accused of hate speech. When I express approval for Trump, I am accused of hate speech. Yet, actual threats and hate speech towards POTUS45 are not just ignored, but encouraged.
 
I found out today, that anyone who rooted for the Rams in the Superbowl was against Trump and anyone who rooted for the Patriots was racists and pro-Trump. That's news to me. And, that is just about the silliest thing I've ever heard.
 
I really thought things were improving after the disaster called the Obama Administration. He single-handedly set back race-relations 100 years and placed incredible moral stumbling blocks for the easily influenced in the form of gender/sexuality/marriage ambiguities.

Is it all Obama's fault? Of course not. But he certainly wasn't America's savior.

Is Trump America's savior? Of course not. But at least he doesn't hate America.
 
A few days ago, I was accused of being a racist because I suggested someone check their facts. CHECK THEIR FACTS. Wow.

Let's give this racism/hate speech card a rest for a little while. Maybe we just all need a break from Facebook and Twitter....

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

30 Years Ago in China

I first stepped foot into China 30 years ago. It was a different place then.

First of all, there were bicycles EVERYWHERE! And hardly any cars at all. They had taxis and delivery vehicles and official vehicles and military vehicles and buses. But practically no one had private ownership of a car.

This is not my original pic, but is representative. This is Wuhan in 1980.

Second of all, foreigners were only issued "Foreign Exchange Certificates" instead of the Renminbi, or the People's Money. In fact, you had to have a special permit to use Renminbi if you were a foreigner. The exchange for the FEC was similar to what it is now (~8FEC to 1USD), but you could get over 60 RMB to 1 USD on the black market. (Just don't get caught with it!) Outside of the very large cities, no one knew what an FEC even was.



Thirdly, Americans (and other Caucasian foreigners) were still a rare sight. A year or so after my first visit, I was in the Guangzhou Zoo. A friend and I were watching the pit of monkeys (maybe 100 or so) and we noticed that the 400-500 Chinese were no longer watching the monkeys, but were watching US watch the monkeys!  Very strange indeed!

When I lived in Hong Kong, I traveled over the border many times. It was described as going back 100 years in just 12 miles. And it was like that. I used to smuggle in Scripture and religious materials from Hong Kong. It was against the law, yet I always declared it on my customs form. They would ask to see it and I would show them my Bible. I would speak very fast and tell them that this was my Bible and it was for me alone to use and I have a whole lot more in my bag, but THIS is my Bible. They never looked in my bag. If I remember right, the customs form at that time, asked if you had drugs, guns, pornography or Bibles.



In 1990 at the Great Wall
I have many wonderful memories of my many visits to China over the past 30 years. It is really hard to find any remnant of the China I remember. But I have my memories.
Pray for the people of China. Pray that God would draw them to Himself and that they would know Jesus.


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

25 Years and counting....

December 5, 1992
 Twenty-five years ago, at First Baptist Church, Vinita, Ok, Sally and I were united in marriage.

Sally's dad walking her down the aisle.
 Looking back, it seems we were just kids, although we had waited longer than most of our friends to get married.

Her parents, us, my parents.
It has been a wonderful journey that God has led us on; to serve Him all around the world.

A moment of quiet in a busy day.

God has blessed us abundantly.
Audrey's 2nd birthday in Vinita, OK.
 He blessed us with Audrey.

Emily, Me, Audrey, Sally in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.
 He blessed us with Emily.

Our family in Mongolia in 2004.
 He blessed us with being able to see His creation.

Beijing, 2004.

And pray for people all over the world.

Hong Kong, 2005
 We have been blessed to live all over the world, too.

Koh Samui, Thailand, 2005
 And enjoy great family adventures together.

My 1st Anniversary as pastor at Immanuel Southern Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK 2008.
 Then, He brought us back to Oklahoma, we He has allowed us to serve Him at "home."


Emily, JD, Audrey, Sally, Rick, Wagoner, OK 2017
 We added John Ellis to the family last year.


At the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Our adventures will continue.

A continuing love story.
Now, with an empty nest, we will continue to serve the Lord. Continue to fall in love with each other even more every day!

Thank you, Lord, for my wife and family. May you continue to bless us that we might be a blessing to others!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

10 Year Anniversary

10 years ago, today, I became pastor of Immanuel Southern Baptist Church in Wagoner, OK.

Sally and I had been serving with the International Mission Board in Hong Kong when I felt God's leadership to shift gears in ministry.

I had never pastored before. I was scared. Yes, as I reflect back on it I was scared. At the same time, I was confident. Certainly not confident in my abilities, but confident in the axiom, "God equips those whom He calls."
Me, a month or two after I became a pastor.

I had never pastored a church before. I had only preached less than half a dozen times. My wife later told me that she thought it was going to really be something to watch because, in her opinion, I couldn't preach worth a hill of beans. She has later often told me that God uses me to preach His word in a wonderful way.

Pastoring a church isn't for sissies. There is such a high Scriptural standard that I am held to, by the Lord, and by those I pastor. I will readily admit, I often don't live up to that standard.

In my previous 40 some years experience as a church member, I never knew that the pastor faced so many obstacles and difficulties. There are some nasty people who call themselves Christians. I have been lied to, lied about, gossiped about, slandered, cussed, and called names with words that don't belong in the Family of God.

There are, however, some true saints in the Bride of Christ. There are those who, if a mosquito bit them, it'd fly off singing, "There's Power in the Blood!" These are humble, hard-working servants of God who would do anything for anyone out of love, but avoid the limelight like the plague.

At my 1 year anniversary


I've seen people come and go. Some situations were so bizarre that I still don't understand what happened. For instance, several years ago, I baptized an entire family, like mom, dad, and 3 or 4 kids. The very next day, they moved to Arkansas!  Some came as flashes in the pan. They caused a big stir, but had no staying power and ultimately caused more trouble than whatever good they initially had.

But it's the faithful ones who are truly beautiful. Those who give without being asked, serve without expectations of being thanked or acknowledged, and share without thought of themselves. Praise God for the faithful ones!

I've seen God work wonders in people's lives, like the time He raised a woman from the dead on Easter morning (LINK) or when someone got saved at a business meeting, or watching lives being completely transformed. I've seen a whole lot of new/weak Christians grow in the Lord and I've watched some train wrecks as they walk in the flesh. Some are so embarrassed that they refuse to attend church or even take my calls.

I do know this: if everyone who has told me that they would be in service, rain or shine, would all show up at once, we'd have to build a balcony and have three services!

I have performed the duties and ceremonies expected of pastors. I have baptized new believers. I have married couples. I have performed funerals. To be honest, I'd much rather perform a funeral than a wedding!  There is much less drama. But I LOVE to baptize people. I've baptized over 200 people in the past 10 years. (Where are they now? Inquiring minds would like to know.)

Baptizing my daughter, Audrey, in 2011.
It seems that in the last 10 years, I have a lifetime of experiences. I have been blessed to be the front man for VBS for the past 8 years, usually dressing up in a character that goes along with the VBS theme; I have preached in Ukraine, China, and Israel; I've been to children's camp (KBA) and youth camp (Falls Creek); I've driven the senior adults on fall foliage tours; I've gotten my class B CDL to drive the new church bus; and so many other things that escape my memory.

God has done a great many wonderful things in our church in the past 10 years. We have a growing and thriving children's and youth ministries, we have a Food Pantry Ministry that distributes food to the hungry to the tune of about 750,000 meals in the past 8 years, and we have a unique jail ministry that we call "The Cookie Ministry" where we take bags of cookies with a gospel tract to the local jail each month. We are currently debt free and are looking to build a new multi-purpose building with designated funds that we've been sitting on for the past 25 years.

Me, today, on my 10th Anniversary as Pastor of ISBC

We also have a long way to go. Our financial situation is precarious. Yet, we've never not met our obligations. God has always been faithful with that. I would love to see the expansion of our youth ministry to include a separate class for middle school students. I want to see our YokeFellow and FAITH Rider groups to re-activate. I want a group of folks to step up and help with our children's Sunday School classes. We must have a nursery staff.

I love being a pastor. I LOVE preaching God's word. I love the wonderful folks at Immanuel Southern Baptist Church. 

No matter what God has in store for me and for ISBC, we can only pray it is for His glory! For in the end, that's all that really matters!

Friday, May 12, 2017