Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I've just concluded a bible conference at the New Zion Baptist Church just outside Bonham Texas. It is not a large church in attendance with about a hundred or a little better in regular Sunday attendance I'm guessing, [Who cares!!] but it is large in heart and spirit. I came away refreshed and humbled by the response in so many ways it would be difficult to speak of them all and it's unusual for me to speak about any of my meetings in this fashion, meaning, as blog material. But I'm going to do just that albeit briefly. Then we'll get the third and final principle on biblical interpretation next time.

Rodney Sprayberry is the Pastor of this fellowship. Rodney and I had never met until last Saturday except through the internet. I accepted his invitation to come a few months back not knowing anything about the church. What I found was a group of people who are the proverbial salt of the earth as well as the Kingdom. The church is made up of people who have a history of being mission-minded and are still involved personally with providing places for furloughing Missionaries as well as making trips for ministry.

The Pastor and the new worship leader of that Church are men of heart, sound mind and genuine Kingdom concepts that transcend denominationalism or rigid structures whether in worship or church life. They are truly KINGDOM men.

I spoke at a banquet honoring widows, the Sunday school hour to the whole church, the morning worship hour, and twice on Sunday evening. The conference concluded with a Monday noontime and evening and Tuesday evening service. There were eight speaking times in the conference and I do not remember being any more free in giving the Word and with a sense of worship in praise as I was this weekend. I forged a friendship with the entire fellowship that will cause me to rejoice for sometime to come.

A serendipity to it all was the opportunity of also meeting Rex Ray who frequently comments on this blog and is a member of that fellowship. He is unique person who is well versed in an understanding of the struggles of years gone by denominationally and has both a heritage and a written legacy of stories of family members who were used of God in the mission field including his own Dad in the second world war.

I also spent Tuesday morning from 9 til noon with the pastors of that Association under the leadership of my long time friend Jerry Christopher. The same atmosphere prevailed with those men. I realized anew why I LOVE ministering to ministers and speaking to them about what I've learned in my years of pastoring.

Why I wanted to pass this report along is not completely clear to me. But I can't get away from the idea that in the midst of so many struggles, even in Kingdom living, brief times like this do make the journey easier and it reminds me of so many good things, and people, that we are linked with by both hands and heart. I'm refreshed and rejoicing this morning because of some new relationships built in a short time. But that is just the Kingdom being the way God intended it I think.

Paul B.


Rodney Sprayberry said...

Once again thank you for being here with us over the past few days. You have been a blessing to me and to our people. I and AGAIN excited about what God may do here in the future.
As I sit here in the aiport waiting to board the plane for SC, I am reminded that life is a journey and the relationships we have, circumstances we encounter, and grace we experience make it a rich meaningful and rewarding trip


Paul Burleson said...


I'll tell you like I told Rex Ray. We can remove the "Internet" from our" friendship." It's personal now and I'm glad.

Anonymous said...

I related to your leaving as I saw you exit the stage. I've left Japan 13 times eager for home while others saying goodbye had tears in their eyes. I felt like the movie - “Come back Shane”.

I wanted to show you a hay barn I built for my Dad where I had fallen 21 feet and went back to work.
I was laying there hearing my young son tell his brother “Ah, he's faking it.”
The twisted metal is an example of 9-11 after 5,000 bails of hay had burned.

There were many other things I wanted to say and show – as well as hearing your stories. But there will come a time – we'll have eternity.

Paul Burleson said...


Yours is one of the more moving comments I've read in some time. Your final sentence says it all. Thanks for a wonderful experience and for a personal friendship.

Christiane said...

I wish REX RAY would publish all of his writing . . . it would be a 'best seller' . . .

his stories are priceless, funny, and moving, and evocative of faith and family, hard times, and times of blessing. Anyone who can bring you to tears and make you laugh in the same paragraph has a 'gift', and REX's gift is needed in this strange new world, where some people have forgotten how to weep and how to laugh and grown numb their connection to their fellow man.

Anonymous said...

UT, OH – Words too nice – causes head to enlarge. :)
One word takes care of the problem – STUPID.
Like Paul's preaching said: 'After a 'high', look out for a 'low' or words to that effect.

I was unable to slide a large board off a 21 foot high scaffold, so I straddled the board at the end of the scaffold and pulled it forward. I was proud thinking this worked so easy, why didn't I think of it sooner.
It worked great until the board passed halfway and hit me in the seat of the pants as it nosed dived toward the ground.
My boys were out of sight but heard me yell as I lost altitude. I laid there thinking I wasn't dead when I heard the comment about me faking it.

That's one literal example of 'pride goes before a fall'.

You've heard 'the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree'.
I fell from a pear tree that ruptured my spleen, broke five ribs and pelvis 50 feet from where my father broke his pelvis from a tractor accident, and we were the same age. (72)

My doctor said that year if I'd been the average person, I'd died three times.
I took the same trip to Cozumel that Wade took, but was in a wheel-chair from lung blood clots.
On blood thinner I'd gotten sick on hotel food and tore internal blood vessels. I passed out at the hospital and Belle was yelling for me to breathe.

One person said of my father's experiences: “God has to be gray-headed”. So I guess “It's just a family tradition.”