Friday, March 30, 2007

Christopher's Photograph at the Contact Church

I do not know how to put pictures on my blog. In fact, I'm amazed that I'm able to put words on here. But, I know that Christopher's picture is on the web site of the Contact Church ( When you see the picture of two little boys looking through a window, you will see little John Falance and our son Christopher (the little black boy). The photo was taken at the Easter egg hunt last year sponsored by the Park Plaza Church of Christ (which invited the Contact kids to participate). Isn't Christopher a handsome little man?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

International Adoption Articles in the Christian Chronicle

Erik Tryggestad has written some outstanding articles about international adoptions in the latest Christian Chronicle. You may view them at

I appreciate Erik's efforts to tell these stories. I do not have links to any international adoption agencies, but if anyone would like information about domestic adoptions, I recommend the agency that we used...Christian Services of Oklahoma. You may link to it at the bottom of my home page.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Churches and the Rwandan Genocide

"You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more" (Psalm 10:17-18, NIV).

Last week, I wrote about the start of Christ's Church in Rwanda. In that post, I mentioned that the Rwandan people were disillusioned about Christianity because of the involvement of that country's churches in the genocide of 1994. Today, I found an article from an African web site as I was following some links from Christianity Today's web site. Mike O'Neal was correct about how Rwandans view the historical churches of Rwanda after their support (and lack of repentance afterward) of the mass murders. See the story at I'm thankful that Christ's Church has an opportunity to live out faith in Jesus Christ in such a rightfully skeptical society.

Abortion and Public Office

"You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13, NASB).

John Piper is one of my favorite authors. He is a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. On his web site, I found an article where he wrote, "No endorsement of any single issue qualifies a person to hold public office. Being pro-life does not make a person a good governor, mayor, or president. But there are numerous single issues that disqualify a person from public office...I believe that the endorsement of the right to kill unborn children disqualifies a person from any position of public office." The entire article may be read at

I agree completely. I have absolutely no interest in voting for a politician who will do nothing to protect children from people who would kill them for profit.

So far in the presidential race, no Democrats are even interested in my vote. All of them (that I am aware of) support the unrestricted killing of pre-born children. Among Republicans, the frontrunner (the former mayor of New York City) supports abortion also. If both parties nominate pro-abortion candidates, what will I do? I will look for a responsible, pro-life, independent candidate. If one does not exist, I will leave the presidential ballot blank.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Romans 5:8

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8, NIV).

We have been trying to memorize that verse for the last few days. It tells us so much about the character of God and the character of ourselves that it may be one of the most profound verses in the Bible.

Monday, March 26, 2007

People Change

"Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:11, NASB).

Please read the story at

Never give up.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

International Soul Winning Workshop 2007

In my post earlier today, I mentioned that we have been attending the International Soul Winning Workshop. In addition to the session about mission work in Rwanda, we attended the Thursday evening session featuring Bruce Marchiano, the actor who played the role of Jesus in The Gospel of Matthew video series. However, we did not spend any more time listening to preachers. I'm sure that there were some good speakers, but most of our time was spent talking to old friends and buying books and music CDs.

I don't know what Janet bought, except for a couple of Watershed CDs. I bought Little Boys Bible Storybook for Fathers and Sons to read to Christopher before bedtime. I also purchased the New American Standard Bible/New International Version Parallel Bible, The College Press NIV Commentary Minor Prophets Volume 2, Igniting the Moral Courage of America by Dean Kilmer, and Sundays with Scottie by Milton Jones. I'm looking forward to reading all of them.

We were able to talk to several old friends who were members of Jenks Church with us a number of years ago. In addition, we saw many members of the Contact Church of Christ at the church's booth.

We also talked to some people from Cookson Hills Christian Ministries, Pioneer Bible Translators, and a few other ministries. For a few minutes this morning, we talked with Colleen Deloach (who serves as a missionary with her husband Steve in Guyana). Their son, Isaiah (whom they adopted in Guyana) is still doing well. The medication continues to keep his HIV undetectable. (I have always admired how they adopted a baby with HIV from Guyana. I believe Isaiah is 10 years old now.) I asked Colleen how old a child should be before taking him on a mission trip to Guyana, because I want to take Christopher some day. Although her children were about 5 when they first went, she suggested about 10 years old would be appropriate. So we have something to look forward to in a few more years.

Finally, we appreciated Sarah Logsdon watching Christopher at her house for a few hours on Friday. He loved taking care of Bob and Sarah's baby, Miriam. If you are reading this Sarah, thanks again!

Christ's Church in Rwanda

We have been attending the International Soul Winning Workshop at the Fairgrounds in Tulsa for the last few days. The ISWW is an annual conference of the Churches of Christ and Christian Churches.

Yesterday, I attended a session in which participants were informed about new mission work in Rwanda, the African country that was torn apart by genocide in 1994. During 100 days in the spring and early summer of that year, at least 800,000 people were murdered because of "ethnic" hatred.

Oklahoma Christian University President Mike O'Neal and faculty member Brian Hickson presented the following information about the new mission work:

The Challenge:
1. Poverty---Rwandans earn less than $1 a day, but gasoline costs more than $6 per gallon. The nation has a 40% unemployment rate.
2. HIV/AIDS---250,000 people are infected.
3. Orphans---Genocide and AIDS have left 500,000 orphans. Twenty-six percent of the children are orphans.
4. Education---Only 7.5% of Rwandans have completed secondary school.
5. Loss of Faith---Public institutions, governments, families, churches, and neighbors have failed the people.

When Rwandan President Paul Kagame visited Minneapolis in 2003, he met the Lawson family, a Christian family with ties to Oklahoma Christian University. They invited Mike O'Neal and Uganda missionary Dave Jenkins with them on a trip to Rwanda as guests of President Kagame.

Because of the friendship formed with President Kagame during that trip, the Churches of Christ have been allowed to enter Rwanda. In fact, the government has allowed a church to purchase some nice property in the capitol city. So, three weeks ago, Christ's Church in Rwanda had its first worship assembly. (The church is called "Christ's Church" in Rwanda, because "Church of Christ" had been registered with the government by a group without theological ties to the Churches of Christ and Christian Churches in America.)

Christ's Church in Rwanda has a great opportunity to help many people who have been turned off by the "Christianity" in their country that either condoned or encouraged the ethnic murders of a few years ago. Christ's Church has a opportunity to practice and promote genuine faith in Jesus Christ. "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (James 1:27, NASB). I hope that the new church makes a great difference for good in an area that has experienced so much evil.

More information about the mission in Rwanda can be found at

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Kindness of Prayer

"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16, NIV).

In October, I started to appreciate the kindness of prayer more than ever before. During that time, I had hernia surgery. I was away from work for most of the month, and I was hurting (especially after the surgery, because I could not keep the pain medication down).

During those days, many people were praying for me...Janet, Christopher, extended family, Contact church members, Jenks church members, co-workers, and others. Those prayers meant a lot to me. I appreciated that people cared enough about me to talk to God on my behalf.

Since then, I have been more serious about extending that kindness to others. I realize that God cares about people, and that he wants me to share that concern when I talk with him.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hope for a Dying Church

Bobby Ross Jr. has written an inspiring article for the Christian Chronicle about a once-dying Church of Christ in rural Arkansas (see The congregation began to experience a revival when it started to focus on serving its neighbors, spreading the good news of Christ, praying for people, and showing concern for people in its area. If you are in a stagnant or dying church, this article should give you hope that things can change.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Real and Impersonal Love

"As it is written: 'He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever'"(2 Corinthians 9:9, NIV).

Yesterday, I wrote, "Following Jesus means learning to love people, not just good causes." While that is true, it may be misleading. After all, I have rarely met people who support good causes who did not love people also.

In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul was writing to a church that had committed itself to the cause of supporting a church hundreds of miles away, a poor church with members that most of them did not know and would never meet personally. The Corinth church supported the cause of aiding the Jerusalem church because the Corinth church was motivated by a love for fellow Christians, not because they knew each other well.

I have been thinking about the good and generous people who never knew me, but who have supported a cause that has helped me. Because they loved someone that they did not know, I benefited from scholarship funds to attend Oklahoma Christian University. Because they supported Christian Services of Oklahoma, Janet and I were able to adopt Christopher. Because they supported the cause of translating the Bible into modern English, I can read from the New American Standard Bible, the New International Version, and many other fine translations of God's word. I am thankful that God has used people to bless my life in numerous ways.

I want to help people in similar ways. I want to care about people personally, and I want to support good causes that help people impersonally. I may never know who has benefited from my support of Christian Services of Oklahoma, the Christian Relief Fund, Oklahoma Christian University, Pioneer Bible Translators, or other causes. However, if people are helped by my support, then it is worth it.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Real and Personal Love

"If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:3, NIV).

In an article on the Heartlight website, Rubel Shelly wrote,

"Jack (a homeless man) was open to questions. So Josh (a follower of Christ who wanted to help Jack) dared to ask him what good-intentioned people with charitable hearts could do that would make a difference for the poor and homeless. 'Make us feel real,' he said. 'We want to feel like we are real people. See us. Talk to us. Be with us. Help us feel. It isn't just about feeding us or giving us clothes. It's about seeing us.'

"Now there's a lesson that do-gooders like me need to learn! We know what Jesus taught about visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked. And we know that faith without works is dead. So we send get-well cards or visit hospitals. We donate money and build soup kitchens. We drop off used clothing. All those are good things.

"But what about personal awareness? What about communicating a person's worth? What about making her feel valued rather than pitied? And how do I let someone know he is a human being to me, not a project?"

The entire article may be found at

Mr. Shelly asked the right questions. Following Jesus means learning how to love people, not just good causes.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Transracial Adoption

"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live" (Acts 17:26, NIV).

On most mornings, I listen to the radio program FamilyLife Today as I am preparing the mail for delivery. For the past two days, Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine have been interviewing a couple of guests about the subject of adoption. During the program, one of the guests, author Sara Dorman said, "You know---culturally, sometimes people do not want to adopt internationally---or adopt a biracial child or a mixed-race child because they feel like, 'Well, I can't raise a black child because I'm white.' They cry the same color tears; they really do."

Amen! Amen! Amen!

I am thankful that FamilyLife is promoting Christian adoption across cultural and racial barriers.

You may look at for more information about the radio program. You will be able to listen online or read a transcript of each day's program:

"Who Will Care for the Children?" 3/14/2007
"So How Do I Adopt?" 3/15/2007

Any Christian who is interested in adopting a child should listen to the programs or read the transcripts. It's worth the time and effort.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sexual Immorality

In an interview with a Chicago newspaper yesterday, Marine General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, "Homosexual acts between individuals is immoral." In addition, he stated that adultery is immoral.

His comments have stirred up a mild controversy. Some people have demanded an apology from him. However, General Pace was correct. Homosexual activity and adultery are immoral.

Jesus Christ taught, "Surely, you have read in the Scriptures: When God made the world, 'he made them male and female.' And God said, 'So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.' So there are not two, but one. God has joined the two together, so no one should seperate them" (Matthew 19:4-6, NCV). He taught that God intended for sex to be enjoyed within the boundaries of a marriage between a man and a woman, where the two would become "one body." That is the definition of sexual morality.

When the apostle Paul was describing humanity's rebellion against God, he mentioned, "Women stopped having natural sex and started having sex with other women. In the same way, men stopped having natural sex and began wanting each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and in their bodies they received the punishment for those wrongs" (Romans 1:26-27, NCV).

In his first letter to the church of God in Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote, "Surely you know that the people who do wrong will not inherit God's kingdom. Do not be fooled. Those who sin sexually, worship idols, take part in adultery, those who are male prostitutes, or men who have sexual relations with other men, those who steal, are greedy, get drunk, lie about others, or rob---these people will not inherit God's kingdom. In the past, some of you were like that, but you were washed clean. You were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, NCV). Thankfully, God still washes sinners clean, makes sinners holy, and makes sinners right with himself. Otherwise, each of us would lead hopeless lives in addiction to our sins and in opposition to God.

God still saves and changes lives.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Logsdons and Urban Ministry

"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" (Proverbs 12:18, NIV).

Our friends Bob and Sarah Logsdon have just started a blog at Bob is our youth minister in the Contact Church of Christ. He and his wife are a great couple of devoted Christians.

In Bob's first post, he writes about an incident in which one of our youth threatened to shoot another of our youth. In his account, you will see Bob's courage, wisdom, and love. You will see the heart of an outstanding youth minister.

If anyone would like to support him and his family in their work, please click on the link to the Contact Church of Christ at the bottom of this page. You should find the church's phone number and mailing address.

Friday, March 09, 2007

John Perkins and Urban Ministry

"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:16-20, NIV).

Today, I read an article about John Perkins on the Christianity Today website ( It brought back memories of meeting Dr. Perkins almost 5 years ago at the Urban Ministry Conference of the Churches of Christ. He was a famous and impressive speaker, but many of us did not know who he was until he spoke that evening. (In fact, he was getting some food and coffee from the kitchen when Evelyn Jennings met him. She told me that she thought that he was just a man who had wandered in from the streets for some food. It happens often at the Contact Church of Christ.) Dr. Perkins was a preacher, a former labor union organizer, a civil rights activist, an advocate for the poor and hungry, a pro-life advocate, and a former advisor to President Reagan, but he was a humble and unassuming man at the same time.

After reading the article from Christianity Today, I thought that I would post an article that I wrote for our former congregation. This is a portion of an article from the November 2002 newsletter of Jenks Church:

By Terry Laudett

Urban ministry leaders gathered in Tulsa from October 24-26 at the Contact Church of Christ for the national Urban Ministry Conference of the Churches of Christ. The annual meeting provides a forum for Christians to share ideas, information, and encouragement in sharing God's love and message of grace with people in urban surroundings, especially those living in poverty...

On Friday, Dr. John Perkins, chairman of the Christian Community Development Association, built upon the conference theme of developing holistic Christian community within urban churches. He taught that the whole gospel is the love of God demonstrated to the whole world. "Don't overlook anyone," Dr. Perkins warned. Everyone needs reconciliation with God and with other people. Christians must reach across racial, economic, and cultural barriers as God's ambassadors to bring the message of reconciliation. Dr. Perkins noted, "To receive the grace of God, but not to be a reconciler, is to receive the grace of God in vain."

It was an honor to have met and talked with Dr. John Perkins.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

God's Favorite Music

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:19-20, NIV).

In January, I mentioned that my favorite music was Randy Travis' Rise and Shine. Since then, I have been thinking abour God's favorite music. I find it interesting that God is interested in music at all. I'm not sure how many other religions' gods are worshiped with music, but I'm glad that the God of the Bible enjoys it.

I may not know exactly which psalm, hymn, or spiritual song would be God's favorite, but I know that He loves the music that comes from a thankful heart.

Whenever I have asked Frank Lott (one of our ministers in the Contact Church of Christ), "How are you doing?", he has responded with, "Better than I deserve." I could answer the same way. God has been very good to me, better than I deserve. Realizing that, I can sing God's favorite music, the music of a thankful heart.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Who Cares About the Pygmies?

"For 'whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!'"(Romans 10:13-15, NASB).

On a Saturday morning 4 years ago, I was reading the local newspaper when I came across a story about a representative from the United Nations who had come to Tulsa to bring attention to the horrors of the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In that article, the woman from the UN mentioned how the Pygmies of the region were being murdered by soldiers on all sides of the conflict. She also mentioned that hundreds of thousands of Pygmies lived in the region, but that no church of any kind had reached the Pygmies at any time in history. That story has haunted me since I first read it.

Jesus has done something that deserves attention, but nobody has told the Pygmies. They need to know that they do not need to live with the guilt of their sins. They need to know that Jesus gave His life so that they would not need to suffer for their sins. He suffered for them, but they have not heard about it and cannot take advantage of the offer of forgiveness. How can we live with ourselves if we do nothing to help them know Christ? We would be betraying our mission. Jesus Christ deserves to be known, and everyone needs to have the opportunity to know Him.

Unfortunately, the Pygmies are not alone in their ignorance of Christ. More than a third of the world's population has not been exposed to the gospel of what Jesus has done for them. This needs to change.

Please pray for the unreached ethnic groups of the world. Please pray that God will raise up missionaries willing to sacrifice everything in order to tell these people the good news about Jesus. Please consider what you can do to take the good news to those people. Finally, please support missionaries who are doing it.

At the bottom of this page, you may link to Pioneer Bible Translators, a group of missionaries who are translating the Bible into the common languages of some of these people who have never been reached with the message before. You may consider supporting them with prayer and finances. (They have not reached the Pygmies yet, but they are working with other people groups who had not been reached before.) If you are a federal employee (either civilian or military), you may designate a portion of your paycheck to be given to Pioneer Bible Translators through the Combined Federal Campaign.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Alabama Tornado Victim

I read an article by Tamie Ross at the Christian Chronicle ( about the death of 16-year old Katie Strunk in a tornado that hit her high school yesterday. If anyone would like to contribute to help with funeral expenses, you may send money to:

Katie Strunk Fund
College Avenue Church of Christ
P.O. Box 311740
Enterprise, AL 36331

I'm sure that the family would appreciate prayer, also. This has to be a hard time for everyone connected to her.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Jesus' Family Tomb?

Contrary to popular perception, the Easter season does not begin with Ash Wednesday. Actually, it begins with the annual rite of unbelieving scholars (who also may be theologians at times) trying to discredit the foundations of Christianity. We usually see it on the covers of the weekly news magazines, but this year, the Discovery Channel is leading the pack. Check out
You will learn more about the latest hoax concerning the discovery of the bones of Jesus Christ. I'm sure that they found the bones of a man named Jesus, but not the Jesus who was raised from death and ascended into heaven in His resurrected physical body.