Ray Pritchard’s Blog – April 2008

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Day 1 in the Czech Republic

April 30, 2008

Door to door our trip to the Czech Republic took 22 hours. We made all our flights, had a bumpy ride across the Atlantic and a smooth flight into Prague where Jay Prager (an independent missionary) met us at the airport and helped us make the transfer to the train that took us to Ostrava. The Czech Republic is located more ...

On Our Way to the Czech Republic

April 29, 2008

At the moment Marlene and I are in the Memphis airport waiting for our flight to Amsterdam where we will catch another flight to Prague, Czech Republic. There we will board a train for a 240-mile trip to Ostrava, near the Polish border. We’re traveling to the Czech Republic to take part in the Josiah Venture spring co ...

Rejoice Evermore

April 28, 2008

After our unplanned visit to the cemetery (see below), my mind drifted back to a scene from the final episode of the John Adams miniseries on HBO. Adams is now almost 90 years old, having outlived his wife, several of his children, and all of his contemporaries (except Thomas Jefferson). His health failing, Adams looks and ...

Mama Pritchard and Papa Pritchard

April 27, 2008

The most memorable part of the weekend happened on Friday afternoon, on the 50-mile drive from Tupelo to Oxford. As we were leaving, Alan called to say that the main road into Oxford was blocked because they were setting up for the Double Decker Festival, and instead of taking Highway 6, we should drive to New Albany and ta ...

Doubledecker Bike Ride

April 26, 2008

At the moment (7:13 AM) I am in Andy and Betty’s condo in Oxford, Mississippi. Marlene and I drove over yesterday for the Double Decker Arts Festival, an all-day event that starts at 9 AM. That’s also the start time for the Double Decker Spring Ride sponsored by the Oxford Cycling Club. Alan, BJ and I are joinin ...

Pictures from WMBI

April 25, 2008

During our recent trip to Chicago, I did an interview with Nancy Turner on WMBI-FM. This was my second time to do an in-studio with Nancy and we had a great time. Here are a few pictures: Enjoying a light moment on the air. I’m answering a question either from Nancy or from a caller. The view from the other side of th ...

New Podcast—Create in Me a Clean Heart

April 25, 2008

We have just added a new podcast called “Create in Me a Clean Heart.” You can access it by clicking on the Audio button at the top of this page. You can download the file to your own computer or you can listen to it using our online mp3 player Later today (or early tomorrow) it will be available for downloading via iTunes. ...

Linking We Will Go

April 24, 2008

Check out this amazing collection of online interactive maps for understanding the land of the Bible. These free resources make it easy for any computer user to locate the places and events mentioned in the Bible.Speaking of maps, check out this map of the dominant religious groups in the U.S. on a county-by-county basis.Ch ...

Write a Prayer for a Friend

April 24, 2008

“I’m praying for you."How often have we said those four words? Christians routinely promise to pray for others. And such a promise, whether deeply felt or not, is always a wonderful gift. How encouraging it is to be going through a hard time and have someone who loves you say, “I’m praying for you."But there is ...

“You’ll Need This Someday”

April 23, 2008

How do you get professional hockey players to take a free book about the gospel?That’s the dilemma Alex Pirus faces every time he speaks at a chapel service sponsored by Hockey Ministries International. Despite the fact that he played hockey in the NHL and can therefore relate to the players, Alex still faces hurdles ...

Quick Thoughts After Watching “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”

April 22, 2008

This afternoon Marlene and I watched Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed at a theater in Tupelo. Here are a few quick reactions:Ben Stein is fun to watch.This is a viewpoint documentary designed to elicit strong reactions.The movie is mostly about academic intolerance.Good animation showing the complexity of a single cell. Ri ...

Rock Bottom Truth

April 22, 2008

We have just posted a new sermon called Rock Bottom Truth. Here’s an excerpt:When we read a verse like Jeremiah 29:11, we ought to ask ourselves, “What difference does being a Christian make?” We suffer as others suffer. We get sick, we face trouble, and we go through the full range of human experiences. A ...

KBM Worldwide Outreach

April 21, 2008

Derek Taylor, our gifted web designer, just sent around a report showing that since we launched the new Keep Believing website on March 8, we have had visitors from 162 countries. Here are the top 15 countries in terms of visitors:1. United States2. Canada3. United Kingdom4. Philippines5. Australia6. India7. Singapore8. Sou ...

Sermon Delivery and Anti-Spam Software

April 21, 2008

Speaking of the sermon emails, we are still having problems getting the sermon through to certain subscribers. As far as we can tell, the sermons are being blocked by Hotmail and MSN. That means over 500 people on the list aren’t getting the sermons at all. It has to do with the anti-spam software that the big ISPs us ...

Tupelo, Not Oak Park

April 21, 2008

I sent out a new sermon last night and began my message by saying, “Greetings from Oak Park” and mentioned riding my bike yesterday. It was a brain freeze. We’re in Tupelo, not Oak Park. That’s what I get for writing the intro notes at midnight.

Chicago Hope Academy

April 21, 2008

Last night’s final episode of Oprah’s Big Give featured Chicago Hope Academy, a Christian high school on Chicago’s West Side, founded by Bob and Tina Muzikowski. I remember when Bob showed me the building they were renovating for the school. It seemed like such an impossible dream—and apart from God, it w ...

A Very Happy Wedding Day

April 20, 2008

On Friday Marlene and I drove to Memphis for the wedding of Beth Hoeksema and Brandon Tierce. We had the rehearsal on Friday night and the wedding yesterday at 6 PM. After the reception we drove back to Tupelo (85 miles), arriving a few minutes past 11 PM. This morning Marlene remarked how much fun it was. I agree. I rememb ...

New Edition of Leadership Lessons of Jesus

April 19, 2008

Broadman & Holman has just released a brand-new edition of Leadership Lessons of Jesus, a book I co-authored with Bob Briner. The new edition takes selected chapters from the two original volumes, “Leadership Lessons of Jesus” and “More Leadership Lessons of Jesus.” The result is a “best-of” that contains over 70 short ...

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

April 18, 2008

Ben Stein’s new movie called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed opens today in theaters across America. Because the movie dares to challenges the prevailing Darwinian orthodoxy that has a stranglehold on American education, it has already generated a great deal of discussion in the blogosphere. Predictably, the major ...

“How Can I Pray For You?”

April 17, 2008

“How can I pray for you?"When several friends asked that question during our visit to Chicago last weekend, I gave the same answer every time."Pray Philippians 1:9-11 for us."That’s Paul’s prayer for the Christians at Philippi. I discovered it when I preached a sermon series called Praying With Paul in 2003. Of ...

Love is Blind But Marriage is a Can Opener

April 16, 2008

Last October Marlene and I spoke at a Couples Conference at Word of Life Inn in Schroon Lake, New York. Recently the Bible Broadcasting Network asked if they could use those messages as part of their Building Blocks for the Family program. They are broadcasting our first message today at 1:30 PM (Central Time). Click on thi ...

Four for Dallas

April 15, 2008

When we arrived home last night from our trip to Chicago, Mark and Vanessa greeted us with the good news that Vanessa has been accepted as an incoming student at Dallas Theological Seminary. That means we will have four members of our family moving to Dallas this summer.It happened like this. Sometime last fall Mark began t ...

Sunday at Sugar Grove

April 14, 2008

Here’s a slideshow of our visit to Village Bible Church yesterday. If the slideshow doesn’t start automatically, hold down the Crtl button while clicking on Refresh. You can click on each picture to see my comments and then click on Resume Show to go the next picture.Flickr Photo GalleryYesterday we spent most o ...

Moody Radio Interview 10 AM Today

April 14, 2008

I am doing an hour-long interview with Nancy Turner on WMBI-FM at 10 AM (Central Time) this morning. We are going to do an Open Line conversation with listeners so I hope you will tune in and then call in with your questions and comments. You can hear the program over the Internet by clicking on WMBI-FM and then going to “ ...

Two Saturday Meetings

April 13, 2008

The Keep Believing board met at 9:30 AM yesterday at the Hoy’s home in Elmhurst, Illinois. We spent most of our time with Derek Taylor talking about the new website and further features we hope to add in the next few months. We plan to focus on ways we can create a Keep Believing community so that people from around t ...

Pictures from the Keep Believing Home Meeting

April 12, 2008

Last night we held a home meeting in Oak Park for some friends of Keep Believing Ministries. Mark and Pam Compasio graciously opened their home and we had folks who braved the Friday evening traffic to join us for an evening of fellowship, laughter and encouragement. Here are a few pictures of the evening: We filled up the ...

Hello from Chicago

April 12, 2008

I am writing this note from the basement of Dave and Lynette Hoy’s home in Elmhurst, a western suburb of Chicago. We arrived here on Thursday afternoon in record time—10 hours and 15 minutes. The boys say they can make it in nine hours, but I can’t see how they do it. We ran into some serious rain in southern I ...

National Siblings Day

April 10, 2008

I just heard on the radio that today is National Siblings Day. In this spirit of this noble occasion, here is a picture of the four Pritchard brothers, taken in 2003 at my brother Andy’s home in Florence, Alabama. Left to right, that’s Ron, Alan, Ray, Andy. Ron lives in Little Rock, AR, Alan and I live in Tupelo ...

Late Night Notes

April 9, 2008

A few notes, quickly, before going to bed for a few hours . . . 1) After working on my taxes all day, I remembered why I had put it off as long as possible.2) We are still having trouble getting the sermon email delivered. A few weeks ago I mentioned that we were having trouble with AOL treating them as spam and blocking th ...

A Funeral for Someone You Don’t Know

April 8, 2008

A friend asked me for some advice about how to speak at a funeral for someone you don’t know. That sort of thing happens to pastors occasionally. I can remember a few times speaking at a funeral where my first glimpse of the person was in the casket. Those situations put the pastor in a difficult situation because you ...

God Has a Bigger Plan

April 8, 2008

We have just posted a new sermon called God Has a Bigger Plan. Here’s an excerpt:A few days ago I received word that Rusty Farabaugh died five years after being diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer. Shortly after his initial diagnosis he saw one of my books and was drawn to it because, as he wrote me later, “I wa ...

Check Out the Keep Believing Links

April 7, 2008

Today we have added a Links section to the website. You will find it on the Blog page in the left-hand column. Scroll down past the Archives and the Categories. We organized the links this way:Bible Study ResourcesHere you will find websites that offer Bible commentaries and encyclopedias, Bible translations, and several mu ...

News from China and Canada

April 7, 2008

1) This morning I received a note from ZDL Books in Beijing. They publish the Chinese translation of The ABCs of Wisdom. Here was the unexpected good news:"You will be glad to know that your book ’The ABC’s of Wisdom’ is now our best selling title! We have sold nearly 30,000 copies now and it is still go ...

Things to do Before Going to Chicago

April 7, 2008

Early Thursday morning—around 5 AM—we leave for Chicago. We are eating dinner that night with friends in Chicago, on Friday we have a home meeting in Oak Park, on Saturday we have a board meeting and a meeting for volunteers who are helping us “optimize” the sermons on the Keep believing website, on Sunday I’m preac ...

Six Simple Words

April 6, 2008

A friend e-mailed me with the news that his mother’s cancer surgery had been successful. He ended his message with this statement: “God is God, good, and great.” As I pondered his words I was struck at once by their simplicity and profundity. How much truth those six little words contain. They summarize ...

Do You Preach From a Manuscript?

April 5, 2008

This question arrived a few minutes ago. I’m going to take a stab at it and then invite others to weigh in. Perhaps this is a question you could post on your blog. I’m a young guy just starting to preach. I’m still learning how to exactly formulate my notes and thoughts for good delivery on Sunday morning. ...

40 Years Ago

April 4, 2008

Forty years ago today Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, TN. This morning’s Tupelo Daily Journal contains two articles relating to his legacy:Forty Years LaterOn Wednesday Dr. King’s niece, Alveda King, visited Tupelo. She has gained considerable attention for her work on behalf of the unborn. ...

Where Does Brian Bill Get His Illustrations?

April 4, 2008

Brian Bill is one of my favorite preachers. I say that because a) I have know him for almost 20 years, b) I have seen his pastoral work up close and personal, and c) I read his sermons every week. Brian serves as pastor of Pontiac Bible Church, a growing congregation located about 80 miles south of Chicago. On his sermon pa ...

Intelligent Design: Has It Been Expelled?

April 3, 2008

On Friday morning I’m taking part in the monthly Fire Away! program on American Family Radio. Our topic will be “Intelligent Design: Has It Been Expelled?” The title is a reference to the upcoming blockbuster movie called Expelled! featuring Ben Stein. The program airs live from 10-11 AM Central Time. Go to the Americ ...

Jesus Paid It All (Passion ’06)

April 3, 2008

This video shows how an old gospel hymn can be sung beautifully in a contemporary style. I love the song, and I love how the great crowd at the Passion ’06 conference sings along.

The 3 AM Sermon Question

April 3, 2008

Bryan Chapell offers the following scenario for preachers. It’s 3 AM Sunday morning and your wife rolls over, wakes you up, and asks, “Honey, what are you preaching on this morning?” If you can’t answer in one clear, crisp sentence, your sermon isn’t ready to preach.

Friend Wheel

April 2, 2008

This neat little drawing is called a Friend Wheel. It’s one of the applications you can add to your Facebook page. Vanessa told me about it over the weekend, and so of course I signed up for it. According to the data supplied with the drawing, it contains an amazing 375 “nodes” and 3054 links. Each of those “nodes” a ...

China Updates

April 1, 2008

Check out these China-related items . .Anthony Bollback and his son Jonathan run an informative website called Church in China.You can subscribe to ZGBriefs and receive a free weekly digest of China-related news.Our son Josh has been doing some China Chopstick Math. Each year the Chinese use enough disposable chopsticks (45 ...

Got Bible?

April 1, 2008

I just found a blog called Got Bible? Some cool stuff here. Check out this post called 13 Answers to the Question, “Where Can I Find . . . in the Bible?

Looking for a Pastor to Start a New Church?

April 1, 2008

William Willimon offers some thoughts on the qualities a pastor needs who wants to start a new church. It’s not what I expected, but I agree 100%.

Kosher for Passover Caffeine Free Pepsi

April 1, 2008

Steve Tanner reviews Kosher for Passover Caffeine Free Pepsi and it’s not an April Fool’s joke. I don’t think they sell this in Tupelo.

Could a Pastor Suffer from Depression?

April 1, 2008

Could a pastor suffer from depression? The answer is yes. It happened to Tommy Nelson, pastor of Denton (TX) Bible Church. In a chapel service at Dallas Seminary, he tells his story. You can listen to the audio or watch the video of his gripping presentation.

Are You An Open Nester?

April 1, 2008

Are you an open nester? If so, that’s a good thing.

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