May 2020

Dear Pastor and Church, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.” Psalm 68:19 I recently asked prayer for Luke who had stopped attending services. In the past two weeks he has been back for some services. so thank you for your prayers.  Please continue to pray for him to be saved. About a month back a young boy named Brendan was saved. For the past few weeks I have been talking with him about baptism. Two weeks ago he presented himself for baptism. We are planning his baptism service for Sunday, May 16th. When I spoke with Brendan’s foster Mother about the baptism she said that he would really like it if the Carr boys could be there. I was able to schedule their dad, Bro. John Carr, to preach for me that day (which will be two days after my first cataract surgery) with the baptism to follow the morning service. Please pray that we have nice weather and that my vision will be fine for the day! We have our mid-week service on Tuesday. Last week after the service Amelia wanted to talk with me. I was able to deal with her about her salvation and she trusted Christ as her Saviour! All of these people are related. Luke is married to Sister Priscilla and they are the foster parents for Brendan and Amelia (who are brother and sister). We ask you to pray that we would see the entire family won to Christ for His glory!!! Bro. Carl is continuing with the weekly Bible Studies and...

March 2020

Dear Bro. and Sis in Christ: The Work in Talihina The Lord has blessed us with a one new member and our attendance has been stable. The Sunday school is slowly growing and the Lord answered prayers, we now have four Sunday School classes with four teachers. We hosted a Native Youth Conference with four Indian churches in attendance and about 40 young people from 8 to 1 7 years of age. The meeting went well, each youth group sang in their Native language and participated in Bible Sword drills. Brother Kenny Glisch brought the message and enjoyed a good meal together. Please help us pray for Bro. Kenny Glisch, he and his future bride will be helping us this summer as summer missionaries working with us during our VBS, Camp and other activities. They will need $2,000 dollars to meet their expenses for the month of June and July. If the Lord leads you to help in this area, send the offerings to Grace Indian Baptist Church P.O. Box 562 Talihina, Ok. 74571, designated for summer missionaries. Winter and Spring Activities I returned to the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington State back in December for an evangelistic meeting. The services went well and a bible study was set up, beginning in January 2020. Brother Austin Fulton from Calvary Baptist Church in Post Falls Idaho is leading this study with the help of his Pastor Bro. David Oldfield and members of Calvary Baptist church. Another evangelistic meeting is planned for April the 14th through the 17th 2020. I will be returning back to the Spokane Indian Reservation with another...

August 29

Thomas Baldwin died on this day (August 29) in 1825. Baldwin had been born 72 years earlier in Bozrah, Connecticut. Having a love for books, he decided to prepare for a profession as a lawyer, but the Lord had other plans. When he was seventeen he was brought under conviction of his sins, and he trusted Christ as his Saviour. At that point he severed his ties with the Congregational church, and he lost friends in the process. At the age of thirty he was ordained by the Baptist Church in Canaan, Connecticut, and there he served for six years. When the Second Baptist Church of Boston asked him to fill their pulpit for three months, he stayed for thirty-five years. The Lord blessed the church, causing it to grow by several hundred members, but the pastor’s interests were not confined to that local ministry. He became editor of the “Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine” through which he tried to encourage other churches to support missions and evangelism. Then in February, 1813, Pastor Baldwin received a letter from Adoniram Judson, informing him that he had become a Baptist and had been immersed upon his arrival in India. Immediately Brother Baldwin began to urge the Baptists of New England to support the missionary labors of the Judsons, and Adoniram Judson became America’s first missionary in Burma. Thomas Baldwin continued to serve the Lord in many ways. In addition to leading his own church, he was a member of the early Constitutional Convention of Massachusetts in 1821. He also served on the boards of Brown University and several Baptist colleges. But eventually,...

Speaking Without Words – Malachi 1:6-14

Let’s say that I did something to offend you, and, as every Christian should, I came and apologized. What should I think, if you put your hands on your hips; your eye-brows narrowed; you raised your voice; and you crisply said, “I forgive you?” Should I believe your words, even though they were exactly what I was hoping to hear, but they were not expressed in a very forgiving way? What would you think if I said, with slumped shoulders, down-cast eyes and a mumbling tone, “I am really happy to be here?” or “I am delighted to meet you?” Should Brother Austin believe me if after a service I came to him saying, “That was a great message, but…” Words are an excellent means of communication. God has given to human beings tongues, throats, lips, lungs and minds in a combination which He has given to no animal in His creation. He has created in us the ability to communicate, not only our emotions, but also ideas, our imaginations and our hopes. But… the words we speak may not actually convey our true message. Words are not the only means of communication. What should I think of a dog which is wagging his tail, but the hair on it back is sticking up and its lips are pulled back showing a gallery of sharp teeth? Might it not be saying, “I am happy to meet you. What flavor is your hand?” Of course, we all have the ability to deceive and dissemble; to use words which cover what is in our hearts. And we may use body language...

March 2021

Dear Praying Brothers and Sisters, “Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:2-3). Our witness and work for Christ is utterly dependent upon incessant and believing prayer, without which we would toil in vain. Thank you for remembering us in prayer and bringing the needs of the mission work before the prayerhearing and prayer-answering God in whom we trust. We must ask great things of God, expect great things from Him, and attempt great things for Him and His honor and glory. December was a blessed month for the Craft family as we had the joy of seeing our son, Bertito, be united in holy matrimony to Erin Grace Hill, daughter of Bo and Carla Hill, of Waverly, Alabama. Their marriage was beautifully simple and a wonderful opportunity for the gathering of our entire family in one place. They are presently residing in Alabama and can be reached at the following address: Bertito & Erin Craft 14028 Lee Road 188 Waverly, AL 36879 Though we had an expectation of returning to Mexico after Bertito’s wedding, the Lord opened the door on December 11 for Hananiah to have surgery on the finger he almost lost in 2013.  The surgeon at Cook Children’s Hospital, Dr. Sherman, made it emphatically clear to Heather and me that if  we were not committed to the post-op follow up therapy, we should not proceed with his operation. Hananiah continues with his therapy and will do so into the month of April....

Spring 2021

Greetings in Jesus Name, We would like to begin our Spring 2021 update by giving thanks to our Great Savior. 2020 was a year that most of us were glad to put in our rear view. From great social and political problems to the loss of many dear friends and family it was, perhaps, the most difficult year our family has faced. In spite of the hardships, God has not changed! It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. God has given us grace and strength to endure tragedy and sickness and to press forward in service to Him. We are what we are by the grace of God and His grace has been not only sufficient, but it has been abundant. Praise God that He giveth more grace! The new year has brought many open doors to labor and to preach the Word of God. In February we picked up 55 cases of Choctaw/English parallel New Testaments and delivered them to Mississippi. As I am writing this I just returned from the reservation where we had the first of two distributions of these scriptures at Choctaw Central High School. Laboring with Raymond Johnson and Bill Blair from Grace Indian Baptist Church, and Pastor Alan Peoples from County Line Baptist Church, we put just under 150 Bibles and around 450 gospel tracts directly into the hands of Choctaw students and teachers. The school allowed any student that wanted to the opportunity to leave class and come to where we were set up...

The Sallow, Shallow Sacrifice – Malachi 1:6-14

Before we get into the application of this scripture, please remember the historical context. Malachi, the last of God’s Old Testament prophets, served the Lord after Israel returned from Babylon. Some commentaries place his ministry during the days of Zerubbabel, but I think most of his service was while Nehemiah was temporarily back at the palace at Shushan, reporting to King Artaxerxes. It was somewhere within the century from 536 BC to 445 BC or thereabout, and probably towards the end. A lot can take place in any society in a hundred years: from economic growth to moral disintegration. Any society is in trouble, when, even if there are a few faithful servants of God… when the majority is strong, powerful, and wicked, controlling the government, the media, the schools, the entertainment industry and religion. Such was the case in Israel four hundred years before Christ. And such is the case today. So herein is the purpose for this message today. In my preparation, I threw together an alliterated outline of these nine verses, but I’m not going to preach them. That outline may be cute, but it isn’t very practical. And yet I will share them with you just for the purpose of an introduction. We see here examples of irreverence and ignorance: verse 6. “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?” The...

August 22

In these days when church after church is throwing aside the name “Baptist,” people need to consider the life and choices of Isaac Backus. On this day (August 22) in 1751, Isaac Backus was dipped into water as a testimony of his faith in Christ. A man who had been raised in the Congregational denomination became a clear and decided Baptist. In the middle of the Eighteenth Century there were fewer than fifty Baptist churches in New England, and they were divided into nearly a dozen different fellowships and doctrines. There were Six-principle churches which believed in sovereign grace and the laying on of hands, and there were Arminian Six-principle churches, some of which believed in the general salvation of everyone. There were Five-principle churches and Seventh-Day churches on both sides of the salvation question. Very few of one group ever associated with churches of another, yet they were all called “Baptists.” Into this ecclesiastical mess Isaac Backus wilfully stepped, and with his presence and power helped to unite some of those churches. In the process he helped to protect the true faith. Why did he turn his back on his family history and former church? Because he was convicted by the Holy Spirit and the word of God about salvation by grace through faith and of the ordinances of Christ’s church. He became the outstanding pastor of the Separate Baptist Church at Middleborough, Massachusetts. In addition to preaching the gospel and building a scriptural ecclesia, Backus fought for religious liberty in Massachusetts and throughout the nation. After suffering persecution by the State Church for his Baptist stand, he...

The Lord will be Magnified – Malachi 1:3-5

Much of the Book of Malachi compares and contrasts God’s blessings to Israel’s whining. For example, as we have seen, the Lord reminded the nation that He loved them. But Israel retorted, “Wherein hast thou loved us, Lord?” God answered, “Haven’t you seen the difference in my blessings on Jacob and on Esau? After this introduction, the Lord took over asking the questions, and Israel whimpered their responses. Malachi 2:7: “Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, WHEREIN have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?” The word “wherein” is spoken in rebellion six times in this book. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, WHEREIN have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” Here in chapter one, God says, “If I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, WHEREIN have we despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, WHEREIN have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.” It is this childish, whining, rebellion which makes this book relevant today. Despite all our technology and toys, mankind is still saying, “Wherein hast thou loved us?” We want more. I know that we looked at this already, but consider once again the difference between Israel and Edom. For thousands of years now, God has blessed the children...

Esau have I Hated – Malachi 1:2-5

This scripture, along with Paul’s explanation and application in Romans 9, are among the most hated passages in the Bible. They are also among the most abused of all scriptures. Then a result of that abuse, they have become some of the most misunderstood by Christians generally. I am going to tell you up front that I probably won’t be able to correct any of these problems. If you hate, or if you are prone to twist these words to suit your heart or your theology, it is likely that only the Lord himself will be able to help you. I am not smart enough to argue you out of your rejection of what God has clearly said. There is so much within the Lord’s eternal decrees which must be left to God alone. It is best in areas of extreme controversy to simply say, with Malachi and Paul, “Thus saith the Lord,” instead of “Thus and thus, I think.” What is it that the Lord is telling in this scripture? Despite God’s declaration of love toward Israel, that nation had become so calloused they couldn’t see it. So they said to the Lord, “Wherein hast thou loved us?” Jehovah replied, “Look at the two sons of Isaac and Rebekah.” “I chose to love Jacob, the younger of the twins, and Esau I hated.” So Edom, the country of Esau, essentially became an uninhabited wilderness and waste land. Even when the descendants of Esau tried to rebuild, God demonstrated His eternal hatred. “They shall build, but I will throw down,” saith the Lord. Malachi said, “It may take some...