Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Full Week…

…both personally and in blogdom.
Personal Busyness
One of my favorite occasional institutions at FBC Farmersville is "Staff Night" at the Wednesday Evening Meal. Twice a year our ministry staff cooks the Wednesday meal for our congregation. This was our week. We try to make the event special. This week, I attempted something I had never done before—we treated the congregation to an all-you-can-eat shrimp boil. If you ever cook for your congregation, I recommend that you consider it. I was able to obtain 80# of headless 36-40 count Gulf Brown shrimp for $3.30 per pound. We cleaned out the local Wal-Mart of Zatarain's Shrimp Boil and Cocktail Sauce. Potatoes, onions, lemons, corn-on-the-cob, and the shrimp all go into a big pot and boil. The great thing about this meal is the ease with which you can prepare it for a large group. The potatoes, onions, lemon, shrimp boil, etc., only cook for 15 minutes. The shrimp and corn then go in for a mere 1 minute boil. The whole mixture steeps for a while. An entire cycle takes around 25 minutes. If you have multiple pots going, you can easily keep a large group of people well supplied with peel-'em-and-eat-'em shrimp and all the fixin's. I made a forty-eight-hour trip up to see Mom. Jim and I had been to Arkansas in May for Decoration Day, but Tracy and Sarah had not been there since February. We won't be able to go back until Thanksgiving. We had a good visit, even if it included a fatiguing 2:30 AM arrival in Lake City, AR, on Thursday and a long day of driving today.
Blog Activity
I came home and discovered 69 unread blog posts awaiting me. Two items in particular somewhat involve me, and therefore demand comment from me. Both involve SBC Outpost. One could describe my relationship with SBC Outpost as critical. Actually, I think that SBC Outpost is an excellent blog—a rotten journalistic news source but an excellent blog. I disagree regularly with SBC Outpost, but the site is very successful at generating readership and does so without overtaxing the contributors. So, I've carped at SBC Outpost for pretending to be more journalistic than it is, and I've been critical of the idea that high-ranking SBC employees have endorsed SBC Outpost. The endorsements were removed, and now, Dr. Rainer at Lifeway has publicly rescinded his endorsement. I'm glad that he clarified things. I wish that none of it had happened. I tried to include in my writings the possibility that some of the endorsers did not intend to endorse all that SBC Outpost had become. Good for Dr. Rainer for clarifying where he stands (er…does not stand). Also, several contributors to SBC Outpost have left the site, including Micah Fries. I'm delighted. I fear that Micah may have taken my criticism of SBC Outpost as personal criticism toward him. To tell you the truth, I almost never had Micah in mind when I was writing about SBC Outpost. Micah is a reasonable sort of guy. I think that the big winner this week is Micah Fries. Because of the position I'm in, it will be difficult for some to regard those as sincere sentiments, but they are. I was contacted at one point about the possibility of creating a sort of "shadow" site—a conservative version of SBC Outpost. I wasn't really interested, because that wasn't my calling and because I don't like tit-for-tat…no creativity involved in just mimicking someone else's actions. But now, I think there is a real opening for someone to create a site that actually does some of what SBC Outpost promised (sincerely, on Micah's part, I'm certain) but was unable to deliver. If someone could create a site that would take a positive, uplifting approach to current SBC events, facilitating discussion of ideas without publishing personal attacks, I think that they would be bringing something edifying and worthwhile to Southern Baptist life. I would be thrilled to contribute occasionally to such a site.


Anonymous said...


Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Bart: how wonderful of you to volunteer contributions to a new site. I've been suggesting such a site to a few folks I know. Wouldn't that be a blessing? Love the shrimp boil idea. I was thinking about having one of those for our Sunday School class. selahV

volfan007 said...

i have eaten shrimp boils before. good eatin! also, i actually know what decoration days are. bart, you and i must be from the same part of the world! :)

bart, it's good to have ya back, bro.


Anonymous said...

Don't the dudes at SBC Witness already do that? Of course, they aren't really a "shadow" site as they stay out of really touchy stuff and were "group-blogging" before the Outpost guys got together. I guess you have a different site in mind.

Billy Kiffin

Bart Barber said...


God's blessings upon you in whatever awaits you.


I'm only volunteering because nobody has offered to pay yet. :-) But I highly recommend the shrimp boil for your SS class. You'll find plenty of recipies and good information online. Go for it!

To really enjoy the whole experience, ambiance and all, just cover some tables with newspaper and dump the shrimp, potatoes, corn, etc., straight out onto the middle of the table, letting people serve themselves from there. That's how they do it on the coast.


Good to be back. You and I have much in common!

Billy Kiffin,

Is Billy short for William? ;-)

The dudes at SBC Witness have been group blogging since before it was cool. They are great guys. I think that the real test, however, would be to see some of us who have been more controversial to work successfully in a more measured setting.

Robin Foster said...


Good thoughts. Could you elaborate on what you said here a little further

"I think that the real test, however, would be to see some of us who have been more controversial to work successfully in a more measured setting."

Thanks and God Bless

Bart Barber said...


Glad to oblige:

1. I think it would be pretty easy to have an "irenic" group site if you completely avoided SBC politics.

2. I think it would be pretty easy to have a political group site if you completely avoided being irenic.

3. I think it would be easier to have an irenic political group site if you carefully chose the issues to address and carefully chose the participants to avoid those most passionate and vocal.

4. I think the ultimate achivement and demonstration of the power of God would be to have a group site of people who have already demonstrated their zeal who could come together and behave well while blogging directly about the most controversial issues.

Rob Ayers said...


I have been a reader, but rarely comment here. Thank you brother - good words. And the shrimp boil idea is scrumptious. Are you going to have a barbecue soon? Yummy!


Bart Barber said...


I have prepared barbeque for the congregation before, although the very mention of the word can provoke conflict.

Somehow not everyone knows that real barbeque comes from a pig.