1.30.2009

CAREERSOLUTIONS David Rawles' Helps People Find Jobs God's Way

The New York Times reported today that stocks continue to fall for the second day in a row, that the GDP shrank again, and other indicators that our economy is still not on the upturn. (See the article here.)

With more people losing jobs or families struggling to find more income, David Rawles' book Finding a Job God's Way is flying off the shelves. David, who can be heard every Saturday on KVTT 91.7 in Dallas for Career Solutions, is a motivational speaker, executive coach and hosts career workshops for those searching for jobs. Learn more about David at www.careerworkshops.org.

The book combines on-target tips with biblical counsel to address any situation that might arise for a job-seeker: processing hurts from past employment, making a positive first impression with an interviewer, knowing when to discuss salary, answering tough interview questions, learning how to "close the deal", networking with contacts, writing follow-up letters, and more.

1.29.2009

Church Executive: Working for the Baptists can be trying

The following is an interview with Louis Moore that was published in Church Executive's February issue.

Veteran religion journalist Louis Moore writes frankly about life in “Baptistdom” denominational offices — and remains unshaken in his faith. by: Ronald E. Keener

Ever pick up a book that you just couldn’t put down until you read to the last page? Witness to the Truth by Louis Moore is just such a book — and the “plot” is the Southern Baptist Convention as observed by one who worked in the denominational structure.

Moore subtitles it “lessons learned by a veteran journalist through four decades of watching the church.” He wrote the religion news in the Houston Chronicle for years, then went on to Nashville to work in units of the Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest — if declining — Protestant denomination.

Moore is disarmingly frank and pulls few punches. He names names and cites specifics. There’s a Watergate-esque meeting in a darkened room because of the level of fear in the church’s offices. By the end, he says, “I could trust absolutely no one.”

Today he is president of Hannibal Books, a small publisher in Garland, TX, and enjoying life more than ever. Church Executive posed some questions with him:

For non-Baptists, Baptist politics and theology are probably a mystery. What is the short version about the liberals, moderates and conservatives?

Like all denominations, Southern Baptists have never been lock-step and uniform in all things. Their differences reflect the varying geographic, economic, social and political perspectives of the people among them.

While SBC churches often try to reject the notion, their theology is influenced by these other factors. Moderates were in many ways the heirs of the rising affluence and higher education levels among Southern Baptists. Their rise to power was consummated by the early 1960s. These leaders and the churches from which they arose wanted so much to shake off the American stereotype of Southern Baptists as poor, ignorant, lower-class, uneducated though well-meaning church folks.

With their new social status as middle-class and affluent, Moderate leaders sometimes tried to discard some of the theological positions and peculiarities that made their denomination what it had been — rock-bottom conservative and biblically fixated. The Conservatives (a.k.a., the fundamentalists) rose up in rebellion against the dominant Moderate leadership in 1979. The seeds for the rebellion date back almost a decade, but 1979 is often cited as the beginning of the movement.

The Conservatives rallied around the battle cry of inerrancy, or restoration of a belief in an “inerrant” Bible that is the sole authority for faith and life. They built a coalition that gathered in others not so passionate about theology but who had been alienated by the Moderate establishment, which had taken on an almost elitist tone. At first the two groups battled at what appeared to be a 52-48 percent ratio, with the Conservatives eking out slim majorities. With persistence personified, the Conservatives eventually triumphed and within a decade began taking charge of the SBC’s massive bureaucracy.

Read the rest of the interview
here, and then continued here.

1.26.2009

Reflections on two presidential inaugurations 40 years apart

The following is a blog by Louis Moore, co-owner of Hannibal Books and author of Witness to the Truth. Louis and his wife, Kay, traveled to Waco, TX, to visit the Baylor University campus (where they both attended college) and to speak with various classes about their experiences as journalists. This blog is from Louis Moore's personal blog, Louis Moore on Religion, about his time in Waco.

Forty years ago, on January 20, I was serving as editor of The Baylor Lariat, the student newspaper at Baylor University in Waco, TX, and busy supervising the newspaper's coverage of the inauguration of Richard Nixon to succeed Lyndon B. Johnson as President of the United States.

Our student newspaper desks contained the old Royal typewriters. Stories were typed on paper, then edited by hand before being transported across campus to the Baylor Press, where they were keypunched into an old linotype machine complete with hot, molten metal. We watched the Nixon inauguration on a 13-inch, black-and-white TV carted into The Lariat newsroom for inauguration day. We obtained our Associated Press wire stories about the event from an old AP machine that noisily flowed a steady stream of paper from its top. (Right: Louis Moore with an old AP machine.)

This past Tuesday, January 20, I thought back to those days while I visited The Baylor Lariat offices, one of my few times since 1969 to be there. I just marveled at how things had changed and yet how they had remained so much the same. Student reporters this week sat in front of beautiful, clean iMac screens. They watched the news on a large, overhead color TV that appeared to be a permanent fixture in The Lariat newsroom. Their news of the inauguration of Barack Obama arrived via emails and blogs written by four Lariat students in D.C. for the event. Student reporters in my day would have been blown away by the possibility of The Lariat paying their way to Washington for the inauguration.

Watching President Obama's inauguration also stirred memories of four decades earlier. I entered Baylor the same semester John Westbrook broke the racial barrier, moved into Baylor's Martin Hall, and joined the Baylor Bears on the football field. As The Lariat editor in 1968-69, I hired the first African-American reporter for the school's newspaper. His name was Willie White. I worked diligently to see that he was in line to become editor of The Lariat two years later. I also wrote an editorial in The Lariat welcoming Dr. Vivienne Mayes as the first Baylor professor of African-American heritage to the campus. My editorial scolded the Baylor administration for waiting so long to hire a black professor and also for trying to play down the fact that Dr. Mayes had been denied admission as a student some years earlier because of her race.

So here I was 40 years to the day later sitting in The Lariat newsroom watching on TV as America inaugurated its first President of African-American heritage. The goose bumps told me that was actually more overwhelming than was seeing the computers sitting on the students' desks. (Later that day I was also on Interstate 35 after former President George Bush landed in Waco and his motorcade traveled on to Crawford.)

I was there as a guest of the Journalism Department to talk about my career in religion journalism and my new book, Witness to the Truth. I spent two days lecturing in classes, chatting with students, and visiting with professors in both the journalism and religion departments. What a marvelous and humbling experience it was! I must admit I felt a bit ancient looking into the faces of the young student journalists—and even into the faces of many of the journalism professors. I was grateful that my host, longtime friend from college days and now Baylor journalism professor Mike Blackman, accompanied me most of the time I faced the youngsters.

I also thanked God that most of the religion professors with whom I dined were around my vintage. Lariat reporter Jenna Williamson (left, in an interview with Mr. Moore) did an excellent job in her interview and article about Kay and me being back in The Lariat newsroom for the inauguration coverage. Students seemed bright-eyed and eager to learn. I particularly enjoyed giving lectures on ethics in the media. Some of my greatest delights arrived afterward when Jenna, Mike, and others wrote to say students were still discussing what I had to say about ethics in the field of journalism. I had been able to tell by their eyes, rapt attention, and questions that they were listening without diversion.

As Kay and I bid adieu to the faculty and students Wednesday afternoon, I felt really good about the future of newspaper reporting in the next generation. Baylor journalism grads have always been a magnificent lot. I'm now confident that tradition will carry forth into future years.

From left to right, Baylor University journalism professor Mike Blackman, Baylor retired religion chair and professor Glenn Hilburn, Baylor graduate and author Kay Moore, and Baylor graduate and author Louis Moore at a luncheon for Louis and Kay sponsored by the Baylor journalism department.





From right to left, religion professor Jeter Basden, journalism professor Mike Blackman, religion department chair and professor Bill Bellinger, religion professor Brian Harbour, religion Dennis Horton, journalism professor Brad Owen, with Baylor journalism graduates and authors Louis and Kay Moore.





1.23.2009

Baylor Lariat Former Editor Remembers Past Inauguration, Civil Rights Issues

Jenna Williamson, a reporter with The Baylor Lariat, wrote an excellent article on Louis and Kay Moore's visit to Baylor and their remembrances of 40 years ago at Baylor. The article is below and you can read it on The Baylor Lariat's website here.

Alumni recall changes in Baylor's civil rights views
Jan. 22, 2009
Jenna Williamson, Reporter


For journalists and authors Louis and Kay Moore, being on the Baylor campus Tuesday for President Obama's Inauguration brought back a wave of memories. The couple, who will celebrate their 40th anniversary in August, both attended Baylor during the height of the civil rights movement.

Louis was the Lariat editor in chief from 1968 to 1969. His wife, Kay, was city editor of the Lariat at the same time. Both remember when Baylor's first Black student, football player John Westbrook, moved into Martin Hall in 1965. Kay recalls that during her freshman year, Collins was racially integrated for the first time.
"Baylor was not in the forefront of civil rights," Louis said. "Martin Luther King was not the most popular person on this campus."

The day after King's assassination in April 1968, the main story in The Lariat was about campus elections. It was a sad day in the history of college journalism and especially for The Lariat staff, according to Kay. Later that week, "we did a special edition of the Lariat on King's assassination," she said.

In 1968, Louis interviewed Dr. Vivienne Mayes, Baylor's first black professor. As a student, Dr. Mayes was denied admission to Baylor on racial grounds. Along with his front-page story, Louis wrote an editorial on Dr. Mayes, chiding the administration for failing to formally apologize to her.

Louis hired Willie White for The Lariat staff in spring of 1969. White was the first Black to work for the Lariat. Louis recalled taking a trip with White, Kay and Kay's roommate. When the four stopped for dinner, Louis said that everyone was staring at their table. It took him a moment to realize that people thought White was dating Kay's roommate, he said.

The group "literally had cowboys follow us to our car," and it was the "first time I had experienced discrimination almost inside a black man's skin," Louis said.

White was the Lariat editor from 1970-1971. Having a black editor proved to be difficult, even for a group which Louis referred to as so-called liberal journalists. He said he feels that although many Baylor students promoted equality in theory, they didn't always live it out.

"That was my contribution to the Lariat - to spotlight that issue (of civil rights)," Louis said.

After his time at Baylor, Louis went on to seminary and later worked for almost 15 years as religion editor for the Houston Chronicle. Currently, the Moores own Hannibal Books, a Christian publishing company based out of Garland. Louis and Kay have both written several books, the most recent of which is Louis' Witness to the Truth.

The book describes lessons Louis has learned during his interactions with the church over the past 40 years. The book looks at the common threads in different religions and denominations.

"God can use any situation or circumstance at His disposal, both inside and outside the church, to fulfill His purposes on earth," Louis said. "The truth is that God is at work everywhere and we are fortunate to be a part of what He is doing."

When asked about Obama's choice of Rick Warren and Eugene Robinson to be a part of the inauguration ceremonies, Louis said that the new president may have been trying to hard to balance two extreme theological viewpoints. He admitted that "Obama has his work cut out for him" because "America is very deeply divided, both politically and religiously." Louis said that as Americans, "we need to have our own opinions" while maintaining "a sense of respect for one another."

1.22.2009

"Secret Lullaby" is a "magical story", says Kimberly with She Scribes Blog

Secret Lullaby by Jodie Brownd Blancett is a story that begins with a little girl who lives by the sea and is enamored one evening by a beautiful song wafting through the air. One day the girl finds a shell with a special message inside. The message says she has a secret friend who sings this lullaby. Through the girl’s encounters with her friend, she learns that certain things still exist even if they can’t be seen.

Kimberly with She Scribes blog has written a wonderful review of Secret Lullaby, and we at Hannibal Books appreciate the mention. View her blog entry here.

Jodie Brownd Blancett, a mother of two and former Miss Texas contestant, began to create the book’s poem when her daughter had trouble falling asleep. The bedtime story quickly turned into a special time for mother and daughter.

Secret Lullaby holds a special place in Jodie’s heart for other reasons, too. Before she had children, Jodie was a national account manager for Gucci, a leading luxury goods company. When she decided to stay home to rear her children, she wasn’t prepared to deal with the different lifestyle. She experienced some postpartum issues and struggled to understand her new identity, which had previously been focused on her job.

Through creating this book, Jodie has found something that she can do for herself that doesn’t take away from her family. Jodie says she respects both stay-at-home mothers and those who continue in their career and understands that each path has benefits for different people. She encourages all mothers to support each other, regardless of their lifestyle choices.

Dr. Pearle's Link to Clarendon Hills, IL

Dr. Bob Pearle, author of The Vanishing Church, was the pastor of First Baptist Church of Clarendon Hills, IL, from 1985-1990. During that time, he was part of the Missions Committee and the Administrative and Finance Committee with the Chicago Metropolitan Baptist Association. He was also involved with Illinois Baptist State Association's Order of Business Committee. The local newspaper, The Doings - Clarendon Hill, included Dr. Pearle in an article January 12. You can read the article below or see the original on here.

Book's local connection
Pastor Bob Pearle, who served as the pastor at the First Baptist Church of Clarendon Hills from 1985 to 1990, has released a new book entitled The Vanishing Church. Pearle, who has served as a pastor for 30 years, argues that declining membership in Protestant churches throughout the U.S. -- and especially Baptist churches -- is the result of churches trying to conform to cultural norms instead of seeing their roles as "counter cultural." In fact, the pastor asks whether or not the church is even necessary in today's society, and he then offers suggestions for how church leaders can grow their congregations.

Pearle is the president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and pastor of Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. When he lived in Illinois, Pearle was on the board of the Missions Committee with the Chicago Metropolitan Baptist Association and also was active in the Illinois Baptist State Association. The Vanishing Church is 144 pages long and costs $14.95. For more information, visit. www.hannibalbooks.com or call (800) 747-0738.

Stephanie Dean Makes Baylor Alumni Spotlight

Baylor University's Family & Consumer Sciences Center lists Stephanie Dean on its latest Alumni Spotlight. Ms. Dean graduated from Baylor in 2005. During her years at Baylor, she was the Baylor Student Nutrition Association president, a Baylor Family Consumer Science recruitment speaker, president of the KoNu Honor Society, a student supervisor with the Baylor Nutrition Education Program and a co-leader with the hospital ministry of Baptist Student Ministries.

1.19.2009

Pastor Steve Weaver's "Books Read in 2008"

Pastor Steve Weaver lists "Books Read in 2008" on his blog. He kindly mentions Hannibal author Louis Moore and his book Witness to the Truth: Lessons learned by a veteran journalist through four decades of watching the church. Pastor Weaver says he sets a goal each year of reading 52 books. What a great idea!

Louis Moore, (pictured below) co-owner of Hannibal Books, was the religion editor at the Houston Chronicle for almost 15 years, was the editor at the Plano Star Courier and has worked within the Southern Baptist Convention as a media executive. He graduated from Baylor University where he was editor of The Lariat, the student newspaper.

Moore's book, Witness to the Truth, identifies 26 core “truths” that apply to a variety of religious groups regardless of their persuasion. His parallels are designed to help readers better understand their own local church bodies and their roles in them.

Dr. Pearle Discussed Declining Church Membership on KCBI, FamilyNet Radio

Dr. Bob Pearle, author of The Vanishing Church, discussed his book and the problem of declining church membership on KCBI 90.9 Dallas, Saturday, January 17. The interview was also aired on FamilyNet Radio. You can listen to the interview here:

video

1.17.2009

Dallas Morning News Includes Ms. Dean's Book on Religion Blog

For those who may not have seen, the Dallas Mornings News Religion blog included information about Stephanie Dean's Fit to Serve back in December. We appreciate their mention of the book! Check the blog out at Religion Blog.

1.16.2009

Hannibal Author to Teach Class on Book

Hannibal author Stephanie Dean, a registered dietitian and seminary student, will be teaching a class at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, TX, about her new book, Fit to Serve. Reporter Amy Van Vleck with the Rockwall County News wrote a fabulous article on Ms. Dean and her book:

Fitness. It is on everyone’s mind. Consistently reaching the top five in New Year’s Resolutions lists, health and fitness are popular goals this time of year. Health clubs and diet centers are teeming with those seeking to improve their health.

There is a special “fitness” class coming soon, as part of the Hot Topics series offered at Lake Pointe Church, that approaches health and fitness from an unusual perspective. While we are all familiar with fitness for cardiovascular health, fitness for rehabilitation, fitness for relaxation, and even fitness for recreation, what does it mean to be fit to serve?

Dietitian Stephanie Dean has written a book to be used in the class that combines the need for physical and spiritual health.

Fit to Serve, the class and the book, are based on the importance of staying both spiritually and physically fit. In the first week, Dean looks at one of the basic spiritual disciplines of studying God’s Word, the Bible. In the book, she explains why studying the Bible is important and how the Bible can help in everyday situations. Dean uses the example of her own struggle with determining a career path and the direction she received by studying God’s Word.

“Nutrition can be a ministry,” she said, as she described her journey into the healthcare profession. “There is a tendency to be consumed with looking a certain way,” she added. Giving in to this pressure leads to all sorts of physical, emotional, and spiritual derailments. “We tend to rely more on our crutch than we rely on God,” Dean said. “But once we remember that our identity is in Christ, we can really recognize who God is.

“We are all on a spiritual journey,” she added. “The physical side [of health] is a choice everyday; that’s why I focus on preventative medicine.

“But in the book of Deuteronomy and in Matthew 22, we learn that we are to love God, then love others. So, how can I move beyond myself— to a neighbor—if I am not healthy, if I am unable?

“That’s where serving is involved. For Christians, called to be good stewards, we must consider the gap between our physical and spiritual abilities.”

What a concept!

Designed for use in group meetings such as the Hot Topics class, the book contains five lessons each week for six weeks that combine spiritual disciplines, nutrition and exercise for a comprehensive wellness program. Dean coordinated with Don and Carol Mathus, fitness experts, and Julie Bender, a dietitian, to create a step-by-step plan to improve one’s well-being. The plan centers on the spiritual condition as the foundation for a healthy life.

Each daily lesson includes a spiritually focused topic and a Health Bite with tips and specific exercise guidelines. The spiritual portion is divided into six disciplines: Bible study, prayer, worship, service, solitudeand simplicity. Spiritual topics such as anxiety, forgiveness and faith are studied from a biblical perspective. The Health Bites include tips for staying motivated, exercising correctly, eating a balanced diet and setting goals – all with the over-arching theme that “health improvement is forever.”

The uniqueness of this class, connecting our ability to serve with fitness, leads one to wonder where it fits in the life committed to Christ. Dean says that service solidifies your relationship to the church.

“I needed my co-writers to do what they do best,” she said. “They are gifted in different ways. We are one body with many parts, and we are designed to work together.”

Fit to Serve is not only a six-week class and a book, it is a Bible study to be shared with other believers who want to shed some light on their struggles—within a Christian context—while shedding some pounds and releasing some tension. It is one of several “Hot Topics” classes being offered at Lake Pointe Church beginning the weekend of January 24/25. These one-hour classes take place during weekend services and childcare is provided.

The Fit to Serve class is offered at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays beginning January 25. To register, visit lakepointe.org.

View the original article here.

1.13.2009

SBC Today Reviews "The Vanishing Church"

Dr. Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church of Farmersville, TX, has reviewed The Vanishing Church: Searching for significance in the 21st century on the blog SBC Today. You can check it out here.

The Vanishing Church was released December 15. The book is a realistic look at the issues causing the growing irrelevance and weakness of churches today. What Dr. Pearle presents will concern you, inspire you, and lead you to make your church more what the Bible intends.

Bob Pearle is pastor of Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX. He received his M.Div and D.Min degrees from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. He is president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

1.12.2009

Corpus Christi Caller-Times Features Dr. Pearle

In a fabulous article by reporter Stuart Duncan January 10 in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Dr. Bob Pearle discussed his new book, The Vanishing Church. Dr. Pearle explained that "the New Testament church of our grandparents that stands for right and wrong, believes in heaven and hell, the Gospel message and living a holy life and living differently from the world -- that church is vanishing from our society." He believes this is a major problem and what is ultimately causing the decline of overall church membership.

What is the solution? Duncan reported that Dr. Pearle says the solution is to "return to biblical teachings. If churches will do that, he said, God will take care of the church membership."

Dr. Pearle was pastor of
First Baptist Church of Portland, TX, from 1990-1997. He is now the pastor at Birchman Baptist Church of Fort Worth, TX, and the president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

Thanks to Mr. Duncan for a great article. You can view the article
here.

1.09.2009

WFAA Interviews Hannibal Author About Army John Doe Letters

Camille Lee Hornbeck, author of "Rebekah Ann Naylor, M.D.: Missionary Surgeon in Changing Times," and her husband, Jeff, were recently interviewed by reporter Jim Douglas with Channel 8 WFAA in Fort Worth. The interview was regarding the "Dear John Doe" letters that the Army sent to some families who lost soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Jim Douglas mentions Camille's book as a way she has helped deal with the loss of their son, Master Sgt. Kelly Hornbeck, a green beret, silver-star winner, who was killed in Iraq five years ago this month.

Check out the news story on WFAA's website.

The book, which was released in June 2008, is a fascinating, inside look at Dr. Rebekah Naylor's life, from her deliberation when choosing a specialty in the last year of medical school, to her life in Bangalore, India, where the hospital into which she had poured her life faced possible sale.

Dr. Naylor’s amazing story is one of extraordinary obedience to God and perseverance in difficult circ
umstances. Her family life (as the daughter of Robert Naylor, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1958-1978) and spiritual foundations led the way for her superb accomplishments, which include receiving the Pre-med Student of the Year award at Baylor University; being the only female in her 1968 residency class and the first woman to graduate from the surgical residency program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School; and greatly improving and expanding the entire Bangalore Baptist Hospital in India during her 35 years of unselfish work as a medical missionary.

1.08.2009

Is Declining Church Membership a Problem?

Dr. Bob Pearle, pastor at Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth and president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, would say yes. It's a serious problem, although one he believes can be corrected.

In his new book, The Vanishing Church, Dr. Pearle suggests that church solutions for low numbers are actually part of the problem. He says the problem could be because “churches desire more to conform to culture than to be counter-cultural.”

He discusses controversial topics such as cultural relevance and includes historical background on the Baptist denomination to give an an overarching view of the causes and solutions for church decline. Dr. Pearle, who has served as a pastor for almost 30 years, begins The Vanishing Church with an overview of current society and a discussion of whether the church is even needed. He includes topics such as the four ways churches are being deceived (intellectualism, ceremonialism, mysticism and legalism), why churches shouldn’t focus solely on love, the foundational Baptist doctrines of membership and Baptism, and how churches should respond to cultural changes.


The book has received a great review on Ron Phillips, Sr., blog, Adopted By God. And, don't miss Dr. Pearle's interview on KCBI in the DFW area January 9 at 9:15am.

Bob Pearle is pastor of Birchman Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX, where he has served for 11 years. He received his M.Div and D.Min degrees from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. He is president of the South­ern Baptists of Texas Convention.