March 2021 Newsletter

 Pastor’s Ponderings


We started the book of Mark on Sunday morning, October 25, 2020. Based on my sermon calendar, we will finish the book in the summer of 2022.That seems like a long time to be in one book until we realize that, for the next year-and-a-half, the subject of every single Sunday morning sermon will be Jesus Christ.

As I study this Gospel I see how much it challenges my views of the Son of God. As a child, I pictured Jesus as a very quiet man who spoke softly, had his hands folded, and was always looking heavenward. Now I see Him confronting demons, feuding with Pharisees, and wrangling with His disciples.

He purposefully clashed with the religious leaders to demonstrate the folly of their traditions. He NEVER broke God’s laws, but He repeatedly broke the man-made rules and traditions of the religious. As someone said, “If you ask, ‘What would Jesus do?’ be prepared to take a whip to church and turn over a bunch of tables.”

The reality about our Savior is that He acted nothing like a Messiah (at least in the mind of first-century Jews) was supposed to act. They wanted a conquering King who would heal everyone, whip the Romans into submission, and establish God’s Kingdom on earth with Jerusalem as the capital. Ironically, all of this will happen eventually, but He first came to pay the price for our sins and establish His church. As others have phrased it: “He didn’t come as a Conquering King but as a Suffering Servant.”

As we move further in the Gospel, we will continue to see that Jesus deals with three groups of people, the religious, the disciples, and the people. With the religious, He is stern because He sees the bad influence they have over the people. With the disciples He is often exasperated as they miss clues that are right in front of them. With the people, especially the “repentant sinner”, He is gentle and kind and forgiving. If anything comes out of this study, I hope that we will be more like Jesus.

Thomas O. Chisholm was born the year after the Civil War ended and died the year Kennedy was elected president. He was a prolific songwriter, with his most famous hymn being “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” He also wrote two hymns about striving to be like Christ, “I Want to Be Like Jesus” and “O to Be like Thee!” Here’s the first verse from the former.


I have one deep, supreme desire,

That I may be like Jesus.

To this I fervently aspire,

That I may be like Jesus.


I want my heart His throne to be,

So that a watching world may see

His likeness shining forth in me.

I want to be like Jesus


We will vote on new Air Conditioners/Heaters for the Family Life Center and for the Church Remodel on Sunday, March 7. If you are homebound and would like to vote remotely, please send an email with your name and phone number to before March 7. We will confirm who sent the email, and you will be ready to vote.

We are also making one small change to the presentation that was done on Sunday night, February 21. We mentioned the cost for “chairs” but we are changing that word to “seating.” We originally did not think we could keep the pews and would have to go to chairs in the sanctuary, but it looks now like we can keep our pews, but we want to reupholster them rather than purchasing chairs.

We will also baptize the next two Sundays. We have at least six candidates for baptism, and we are excited to be baptizing again. Hope to see you the next couple of weeks, either in person or online.


Not wishing to have an accident, I recently drove VERY slowly on Westhill with the streets still iced over. I glanced down at my speedometer and realized I was driving the speed limit, which then made we wonder, “How fast do I normally drive down this street?”

I also read that a man was attributing the weather to climate change because it was so cold one day and a few days later it was so hot. My first thought: “He doesn’t live in Texas.”


I have asked from the beginning for you to pray for me and my family in five areas. Thank you for doing so, and please continue to plead with God that I would have:

1) Courage

2) Wisdom

3) Strength

4) Victory

5) Vision


February 2021 Newsletter

 Pastor’s Ponderings

 “The Mulligrubs” 

I sometimes get the mulligrubs. I looked the word up before typing it, and that IS the correct spelling (I thought it was “mollygrubs”). It’s original meaning was a severe headache (thankfully I rarely get those), but it came to mean “low spirits, despondent, or even depression.”

The Bible is filled with characters who had the mulligrubs. Elijah asked God to take his life. Jeremiah accused God of deception and said he would never mention His name again. Peter wept bitterly after betraying the Lord. Paul said he and his companions “despaired even of life” (1 Corinthians 1:8). And we didn’t even mention that one out of every three Psalms has the author crying out in despair.

Yet we have hope even in the midst of difficulty. Psalm 77 best explains the move from sadness to satisfaction, from bitterness to bliss, from despair to delight!

It begins with the author crying out to God but getting no relief. He finds no comfort, he’s troubled and he’s overwhelmed. In the night, he can’t sleep or speak, but he remembers the good old days.

He then begins questioning God. Has God cast us off? Will we ever see His favor? Has His mercy and promises ceased? Has God forgotten how to be gracious?

But right in the middle of the Psalm things change. He starts remembering God’s works and wonders. He meditates on God’s works and begins speaking of them. The final eight verses, all he does is praise God’s power and creation.

But what brought on the change? First, he quit thinking about his own past and started recalling God’s greatness. Second, he starts using the name “Jehovah.” Then he begins praising God. But most important, he stops talking about himself and only speaks of God.

In the first six verses of Psalm 77, Asaph refers to himself (“I, me, my, mine”) twenty times. In the final eight verses, those four words are not found.

These are the most difficult days I have experienced, and most would say the same unless you lived through the Depression or World War II. Yet we can still rejoice in God’s goodness. Meditate on God’s great works, and get rid of those mulligrubs!


In the last newsletter I wrote of some business meetings and votes coming up. With the recent cancellation of three weeks of service, the dates have all changed.

This will sound strange, but we will conduct a business meeting every Sunday night in February. On the 7th we will discuss the need for new air conditioners/heaters for the gym. On the 14th we will vote of that. The 21st will be our annual business meeting and we will look at the proposal to remodel the entire auditorium building. Then on the 28th we will vote on the remodeling project.

All of these meetings should be brief except for the annual meeting which should take up the entire service. We will mention some creative ways to vote where we follow our by-laws yet allow our faithful members to cast votes even if they are not able to attend.

Due to the fact that our Facebook  and YouTube pages are public, we will NOT live stream any of the business meetings. We believe our church business needs to stay within the church. But we will make available both proposals in detail so any church member can read them through.


This February newsletter should arrive in January. If it is possible, please attend the January 31st service with Evangelist Tim Lee. He is one of the most dynamic speakers in the country.

While serving in Vietnam he stepped on a landmine and lost both his legs. After a lengthy recovery he returned home where his father was a pastor. He fully surrendered to God and has been a faithful servant ever since.

He is usually booked at least two years in advance, but because of the pandemic I was able to call just a few weeks ago and get him to come.

Please give generously to this great evangelist as well as to last Sunday night’s missionary, Stephen Carrier. Both of them are in our online giving, and your gifts will be a blessing to them.


I have asked from the beginning for you to pray for me and my family in five areas. Thank you for doing so, and please continue to plead with God that I would have:

1) Courage

2) Wisdom

3) Strength

4) Victory

5) Vision


January 2021 Newsletter

 Pastor’s Ponderings

 “The Best Laid Plans”

Maybe we can blame Robert Burns. He was the one who first wrote the famous quote in a poem entitled “The Mouse.”  John Steinbeck borrowed the last part of that quote to title one of his novels. What did Robert Burns say? “The best laid plans of mice and men go awry.” Boy, does THAT describe 2020. We knew where we were going and how we would get there. Our plans were settled. But we forgot that “a man’s heart deviseth his way (we make plans): but the Lord directeth his steps (the Lord ultimately determines where we go)” (Proverbs 16:9).

In my final sermon of 2020 I mentioned two big lessons I learned this year, and I wanted to reiterate them here.

1) My plans don’t matter. I had much of 2020 mapped out. I had my sermon series’ in place. I knew what the choir would sing at Easter, God and Country Sunday, and even Christmas. March hit, and everything went out the window. We forgot the words of James when he wrote, “13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

I’m not saying that planning is wrong, but everything I do should be done in God’s will with God’s blessing. Rather than making my plans, I must allow God’s will to shape my life so my plans are His plans.

2) God’s plans do matter. Over and over during His earthly ministry Jesus made it clear that He “must be about my Father’s business”

(Luke 2:49). He worked the “works of Him that sent me” (John 4:34). He often told people, “No” so He could tell His Father, “Yes.”

So what are your plans for 2021? Whatever they may be, please make them with God’s will in mind. Remember that you may make the plans, but God directs the steps!


I love my self-defense class, but it can be rough. The instructor puts us in pairs every session, and we hit, kick, punch, gouge, and whatever else is necessary to protect ourselves. Yes, we do hold thick padding to protect ourselves, but I often walk away with a sore chest from Del Cavazos hitting me so hard.

Jon, our instructor, is always telling us to avoid fights! “Don’t go down that dark alley. Cross over to the other side of the street.” The best fight you will ever have is the fight you avoid. Recently I remarked to him, “This is a class where our ultimate goal is never to use any of what we learn” (think Algebra).

As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I thought of the Christian life. How often do we see the truths God has for us yet ignore them. James told his readers to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only, . . . (James 1:22). We forget that the parable of the wise man who built his house on the rock was a reminder to DO God’s Word and not just listen to it.

James goes on to say that we deceive ourselves when we only listen. There must be action! John says it well: “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3).


We have some important business meetings coming up. Sundya night, January 10, we will present the need for new Air Conditioners/Heaters for the gym. While this is routine maintenance that usually would not need a vote, the deacons and I looked at the total cost and felt it should go before the church. The vote will take place January 24, and we will have a way that everyone who wants to vote can vote, even in these unusual times!

This will lead up to another business meeting in which we vote on remodeling the auditorium. This has been a couple of years in the planning, and we hope to get this done during the pandemic. We will have to shift everything out of the auditorium building if this happens.

Be in prayer about this, and we pray that 2021 can, indeed, be a year of rebuilding, and that we will be a Comeback Church!


I have asked from the beginning for you to pray for me and my family in five areas. Thank you for doing so, and please continue to plead with God that I would have:

1) Courage

2) Wisdom

3) Strength

4) Victory


December 2020 Newsletter

 Pastor’s Ponderings


Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Is there anything better than joy? Scripture is full of great statements like the one delivered to the shepherds by the angels, but ironically the word does not occur in the first eight books of the Bible and only two times in the first twelve books of the Bible.

Some of the great “joy” verses include; Nehemiah 8:10, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Psalm 16:11, “in thy presence is fulness of joy.” Psalm 30:5, “weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” Psalm 126:5, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Isaiah 35:10, “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain  joy and gladness, and sorrow and singing shall flee away.”

I could easily list 30 more familiar verses. In addition to the angels’ proclamation of joy, we find the wise men “rejoiced with exceeding great joy” (Matthew 2:10) when they saw the star that led them the Jesus.

But several times Scripture mixes joy with difficulty. We have already seen this in Psalm 30:5 and 126:5. “How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality” (2 Corinthians). “and ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). Probably the greatest example of the mixture of joy and affliction occurred on the cross, for Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame” because of “the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2).

Why am I talking about joy mixed with sorrow? Because that is a great description of 2020. But we must focus not on lockdowns but the Lord; not on sorrow but the Savior; not on bitterness but a baby; not on elections but on elation as we remember that first Christmas night in which “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

As my wife explains in her article, this will be the most unusual Thanksgiving and Christmas season we have ever experienced. Who know, I might have Christmas dinner at Denny’s this year!

But I will always have the joy of the Lord! Our joy should not depend on circumstances but on certainty. I am certain Jesus Christ is Lord! I am certain He died for my sins and rose from the grave! I am certain I’ve got a home in heaven awaiting me! Praise God for His joy on this earth, and the joy we will experience forever!


Our 78th church anniversary is scheduled for December 6. Though we will not have any elaborate celebrations (we’ve cancelled so many this year) we will still celebrate those who courageously met on December 7, 1942, to establish the Calvary Baptist Church of Cleburne, TX. That evening I will give a concert that I originally planned for my anniversary (but I got sick).

The next Sunday will be Memorial Sunday as we remember loved ones who passed on to heaven this year. It has been especially difficult as we have seen sparsely attended funerals that would have been packed out other years. You still have time to get a name to my wife by Wednesday, Dec 9, along with the year of birth and year of death.

This will sound like a rerun, but our Christmas at Calvary celebration on December 20 will be very low key. We will still observe the Lord’s Supper that Sunday evening. The following two weeks we will only have a 10:30 Sunday morning service with no Sunday school or evening services. Also we will have no Wednesday services on Dec 23 or 30.


A little humor to close out my column!


I have asked from the beginning for you to pray for me and my family in five areas. Thank you for doing so, and please continue to plead with God that I would have:

1) Courage

2) Wisdom

3) Strength

4) Victory

5) Vision


November 2020 Newsletter

Pastor’s Ponderings

“Thy Kingdom Come”

It’s that time again. Every two years the advertisements tell us why this candidate is great and why the other cannot be trusted. I have watched very little live television the past few months, but when I turned on the TV recently and three consecutive political commercials came on, I turned the TV back off.

I encourage everyone to do their civic duty and vote in this, and any, election. But I so look forward to a day when God’s will is done in earth as it is in heaven. Isaiah described it this way: “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:4).

Christ will establish His Millennial   Kingdom after the tribulation period. After the thousand years is finished He will make a new heaven and a new earth “wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). What a day that will be!


MARK! I love this New Testament book. We began a series preaching through this book last Sunday. It is the shortest of the Gospels, but its still 16 long chapters. It is a gospel of action with Jesus moving from event to event in a swift manner.

It begins and ends with the same thought: Jesus is the Son of God. I hope you will make every effort to be here weekly as we look at our great Savior and see afresh what a great God we serve.


By the time you receive this newsletter most of you will already know that Evangelist Allen Hatch has passed into glory. He was a special friend of Calvary Baptist Church. He last preached for us Sunday night, June 7. I would encourage you to go back and watch this final sermon.

After the service he asked us to pray for him. A group of us gathered around him and lifted our petitions to the Lord. In a way, those requests were answered on October 28. Allen Hatch left his diseased broken body and was escorted into the very presence of Jesus Christ. Whatever he sang before he arrived into glory, its even better now!

This has happened with so many of our friends and family this year, and we have not been able to honor their lives properly because of the pandemic. I hope you will join us on December 13 for our annual Memorial Service. If you have a loved one who has passed away since December of 2019, please give the name along with the years of birth and death to my wife by December 1. We will have special music and take time out of the service to say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”


Several new restaurants are opening soon in Cleburne. Recently I said to my wife, “McAlister’s Deli opens October 30, and Chick-Fil-A opens November 5.” She replied, “It sounds like November 5 is a good day to go to McAlister’s Deli.”


This time of year is always special for me and my wife. It was seven years ago that we moved to Cleburne and I became the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. With any endeavor, we have seen good times and difficult times. I think of the number of people who have become a part of Calvary over these last few years, but I also remember so many who have gone “unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:22-23).

I am grateful for the blessing of Pastor Payne and his wife who continue to faithfully serve the Lord at Calvary. I think of the many souls saved and victories won, but I also remember some battles we have lost. I can best sum up these seven years with the chorus written by Andrae Crouch:


Through it all, through it all.

I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,

I’ve learned to trust in God.


Through it all, through it all,

I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.


I have asked from the beginning for you to pray for me and my family in five areas. Thank you for doing so, and please continue to plead with God that I would have:

1) Courage

2) Wisdom

3) Strength

4) Victory

5) Vision


Memory Verses

Memory Verses for Crossing


February 3rd ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11

February 10th ~ Romans 12:2

February 17th ~ James 1:12

February 24 ~ Ephesians 4:22-24

March 3rd ~ Galatians 3:28

March 10th ~ 1 Corinthians 3:28

March 24th ~ Ephesians 4:29

March 31st ~ James 4:10

April 7th ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

April 14th ~ Proverbs 8:28 

April 21st ~ James 1:2-3 

April 28th ~ Review  


Student Tracks

Click on Track Button Below: 

Corona-virus updates


Corona-virus News For Calvary

We are back open!
Sunday Morning Services
8:30 ~ Mask as still Required
10:30 ~ Mask are optional
Sunday Night Service at 6:00 PM.
Wednesday Clubs are open starting at 6:15 PM – 8:00 PM.
There is also a 7:00 PM Wednesday Night Service.
We will have live-stream going for all Sunday Service.   
Please keep praying, and please stay safe!

  If you have any questions, you may call the church, call me personally, text, email.


We are wanting to try to stay connected even through this difficult time.
There is some ways we have for y’all to stay connected:

1. Our Church App – Here you can access Live – stream, Giving, Newsletters, and more

Calvary Baptist App (Through Sharefaith )
For Apple (IOS)
A. Go to the App Store and search “The Sharefaith App”
B. Install
C. Open “The Sharefaith App”
D. Search “Calvary Baptist Church”
For Android
A. Go to the “Google Play Store”
B. Search “Calvary Baptist Cleburne”
C. Install

2. Announcements:

Calvary has 4 private Facebook pages that are used for announcements. You must submit a friend request to access these pages.
A. Calvary Baptist Church of Cleburne, TX
B. The Express of Calvary Baptist Church
C. The Crossing Calvary Teens
D. Calvary Singers

3. Prayer Request

Email: or
Call: 817-645-7758

4. Giving

A. Mail: Calvary Baptist Church, 700 Woodard Ave, Cleburne TX 76033
B. In Pearson: M-W 9-3, Th 9-noon
C. Online through our website 

Thanks for reading, God bless you, and continue to pray for our country!

The church office will still be open and if you have any questions or need to get in contact with us. Please call 817-645-7758

Wednesday Nights Meal Schedule

Meal Schedule


February 3rd ~ Chicken Nuggets & Chips

February 10th ~ Nachos

February 17th ~ Backed Sandwiches

February 24th ~ Baked Ziti

March 3rd ~ Mac & Cheese

March 10th ~ Hot Dogs & Chips

March 24th ~ Chicken Nuggets & Chips

March 31st ~ Nachos

April 7th ~ Backed Sandwiches

April 14th ~ Baked Ziti

April 21st ~ Mac & Cheese

April 28th ~ Hot Dogs & Chips

October 2020 Newsletter

 Pastor’s Ponderings


As I reflect back on the Prayer March my wife and I and the Paynes recently attended, I don’t have a sufficient adjective to describe what we saw. I could say it was astounding, phenomenal, or incredible, but that wouldn’t do it justice. I will settle for “amazing.”

We arrived at the Lincoln Memorial about 10:30 on Saturday morning, September 26, 2020. We rode the elevator up to the interior of the memorial to get a view of the crowd. At that time most people were on the grounds of the memorial or standing near the reflecting pool. That would soon change.

Every moment more people walked and drove up, and the numbers kept climbing. People began lining the reflecting pool, and soon they stretched all the way to the WW II Memorial.

Music from Michael W. Smith played (many old hymns) and the crowd got excited as Vice-President Pence and his wife joined the celebration, though he left soon thereafter.

The intention was to say a specific prayer at each of the seven stations. That plan was off because of the huge crowd (estimated to be 100,000 by one counting). It took us almost 30 minutes to get to station # 2, the World War II Memorial, and some people actually started the march there (see map below).

Someone in the crowd told us to pray on our own at each station rather than wait for the officials to pray. The crowd was so large everyone had to improvise.

At every station one of our group asked for God’s blessings on our country in a specific area. I incorporated those prayers on the calendar at the center of the newsletter and encourage you to pray for these seven areas yourself.

We were especially moved by a dear black woman we met at station 5, the National Museum of African History & Culture (her picture is in Betty’s article). She walked right up to us and said she loved us and thanked us for coming to the march. She believed this country can come together across racial lines.

A little further down some of the marchers had surrounded a police SUV. Rather than cursing the officer or trying to destroy the vehicle, they had their hands on the SUV praying for its occupant and all law enforcement officials.

We finished up at the U.S. Capitol with Mrs. Judy praying for our Congress, state officials, and judges. To see so many crying out to God for this country was moving. You can watch a replay at

It was equally amazing to visit the Museum of the Bible which opened in 2017 at a cost of $550 million. The exhibits were amazing (there’s that word again).

The entrance had brass gates containing the first lines of Genesis in Latin. The first floor had a children’s area that was closed and a gift shop.

The second floor started with the Bible in America, tracing its history from the first settlers to the 21st century. The Bible in the World exhibit showed the influence of the Bible in films, music, literature, and fashion. The Bible Now area presented a live feed of global data concerning Bible usage.

The third floor started with The Hebrew Bible Experience, which included 30 minutes of significant stories from the Old Testament beginning with creation and ending with the prophets. We then moved to The Word of Jesus of Nazareth, a walk through the village including a home, a synagogue, and a carpenter shop. Artifacts over 4,000 years old were here.

The next floor contained The History of Bible Artifacts, including scrolls and rare printed Bibles. We saw how the Bible moved from God’s mind, through a writer, and onto printed paper. They used a large section of the museum for a special display on the King James Bible, demonstrating the significant role it has played in history.

I cannot do justice to the museum in this brief article. I hope you get a chance to view this masterpiece dedicated to the Word of God. I cannot imagine going to DC again without attending the museum.

I also want especially to thank Bro. Terry Williams and Bro. Donnie Williams for preaching while I was gone. The livestream worked great and we watched both services from our hotel room. The Paynes were delightful travel companions.


I have asked from the beginning for you to pray for me and my family in five areas. Thank you for doing so, and please continue to plead with God that I would have:

1) Courage

2) Wisdom

3) Strength

4) Victory

5) Vision