Issue Number Twenty-Seven


Updates on Don's Health
The CFBS will continue to post updates for those of you who have been concerned about the progress of Don's recovery from recent cancer surgery. You can link to them here or from the gray box on the Biblical Spirituality home page.

Don's Schedule

Please pray for these ministry opportunities in January and February.

  • Ninth & O Baptist Church
    Louisville, KY

  • Union Avenue Baptist Church
    Memphis, TN

  • Ninth & O Baptist Church
    Louisville, KY

  • Bread of Life Church
    Torrance, CA

  • Collegiate Conference
    The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    Louisville, KY

  • Biblical Mennonite Alliance
    Ministers' Enrichment Weekend
    BMA Bible Institute, Elnora, IN

  • Orange Hill Baptist Church
    Austell, GA

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New Bulletin Insert

Hear Don teach on Family Worship
on FamilyLife Today radio
this Monday and Tuesday

This Monday and Tuesday (January 16-17), Don is scheduled to be on FamilyLife Today radio. He'll teach on family worship: dealing with the biblical material on the subject, providing stories of family worship in the lives of our heroes from Christian history, and giving the simple specifics of how family worship is workable in any home. FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainey is on nearly a thousand stations nationwide, so there's likely one in your area. Go to, and then to the "broadcasts" link to find the station nearest you and the time of the broadcast. You may also hear the broadcast over the Internet via FLT's website.

Simplify Family Worship

In light of Don's upcoming radio program, we're reposting his chapter on family worship from his book, Simplify Your Spiritual Life. This chapter is also available as a pre-formatted bulletin insert. To download it as a Word .doc file, click the Bulletin Inserts button at

A man who is like a spiritual father to me began what he called a "family altar" with his wife before they were married, and has faithfully continued the practice through the arrival of children and grandchildren for more than fifty years. Sadly, it seems that few men among even the best evangelical churches today could speak of daily family worship in their home. In the minds of some, active church involvement eliminates the need for family worship. For others, Bible reading, prayer, and singing praises to God together as a family have been crowded out by the television, the Internet, and a non-stop schedule that makes even meals together a rarity.

But the father (and in his absence, the mother) of the family has the responsibility from God to provide spiritual leadership for his household. As He did with Abraham, the Lord wants every father to "command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord" (Genesis 18:19). Each one should raise his children "in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Every husband should love his wife as Christ loves His bride—the church—and follow Christ's example of washing his wife with "the washing of water by the word" of God (Ephesians 5:26).

While it isn't the only way, the simplest method of applying all these texts in a steady, practical way is through daily family worship. . . . Somehow, though, many men have gotten the idea that family worship is complicated, or that it requires time-consuming preparation. But it need not require any more preparation than your personal worship of God. And the entire experience can be reduced to three simple elements: read, pray, sing.

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Don's Health Update

As most of you know, I had a colon resection on December 20 to remove a cancerous tumor which had been diagnosed six days earlier. I'd had no symptoms, no pain, and no problems. But during my annual physical in late November, the doctor said it was time for my first colonoscopy screening. To my complete surprise, it revealed cancer. The surgeon said that if I had waited another six months it would have been too late to save my life. As a result of the resection, however, the surgeon has declared me cancer free.

The past three weeks of recovery has had its ups and downs. The bad news is that there is a hole in the colon where a staple apparently failed. The concern is that the colon could leak at this point, create an infection, and all the surgical work done thus far could be in jeopardy. The good news is that "quite remarkably" (according to the surgeon) there has been no leak or infection thus far. In light of three-week track record, the surgeon is very hopeful that there will be no leak in the future. He calls me daily to monitor the situation. We watch carefully for any fever (which an infection would cause), and I'm to return the hospital next week for another CT scan. The surgeon believes the hole will heal in about a month. Until then, he expects me to gain strength daily and be able to return to the classroom by the time the spring semester begins at the end of January.

I can't begin to thank the readers of this newsletter for all the prayers and other expressions of concern. I have sensed my dependence upon the prayers of God's people more than ever before. Please continue to pray, especially along these lines:

  • That God would be glorified in all these things.
  • That my conformity to Christ and testimony for Him would increase.
  • That no infection would develop.
  • That the hole in the colon would heal.
  • That I would be able to keep all my preaching and teaching commitments.
  • That God would continue to give grace to Caffy and Laurelen to deal with the difficulties caused by my surgery and recovery.

The Lord has been very gracious to us. I have had some sweet and precious times with Him in recent days. I have been reminded of how full of suffering the world is, and how vaporous this life is. Lying in a hospital bed with a nine-inch gash in my abdomen, unable to say or do anything for Him, I have sensed the tender love and condescending compassion of Jesus. Unable at times to even piece together two words of praise, He did not forsake me though I could offer nothing to Him. How good is God, that He would send His Son to suffer and die to deliver us from such a world and to bring us to a place where we could enjoy Him forever! We do not deserve it, and He gains nothing by being so gracious to us. It is all a display of how good and glorious He is.

Finally, also remember to pray for the FamilyLife Today broadcasts on Monday and Tuesday. Please pray that the Lord would bring much lasting fruit from the messages on family worship.

The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
2 Timothy 4:22

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