David R. Currie
A Rancher's Rumblings
January 8, 2007


This is the first of what is intended to be a weekly article that I will be writing and posting on the TBC Web site each Tuesday during 2007. I promise to try to do this weekly.

I decided to title this weekly column “A Rancher’s Rumblings,” because my basic identity is—and has always been—that of a rancher, despite my work in Baptist life. I am most at home on a piece of dirt, surrounded by cows, sheep, and goats, along with mesquite trees and prickly pear. I hope that, before I am too old, I will be spending most of my days ranching, fixing fence, clearing pear and mesquite, and hunting (or videoing—which, when hunting, I do much more of than shooting).

“Rumblings” for me is defined simply as “thoughts.” The dictionary says it can mean a “dull continuous noise.” I pray that will not be the case.

A New Year is often a time of setting goals, making plans to accomplish things in the New Year, and reflecting on how fast the years are flying by.

One thing I always enjoy any time of year is surprises. Let me tell you about a few that have already come my way.

January 1 brought the delightful surprise of the Fiesta Bowl between Oklahoma and Boise State. It may not have been the greatest football game ever played ( Oklahoma played poorly most of the game), but it was the most thrilling football game I have ever seen on TV. My nephew and son’s team (they coach together) won a game this season, 32-31, which was very thrilling, especially seeing it in person.

I admit I have a strong inclination to always pull for the underdog, so I don’t often root for Texas, Texas A&M, or Oklahoma when they play anyone. I ignore the game when they play each other. Please do not take that personally, all you Longhorns, Aggies, and Sooners. I am just being honest. They are great universities, but this is sports I’m talking about here!

It was incredible to watch Boise State win the game with two of the most amazing plays in the history of college football—the old hook and ladder that we used to run in six‑man; and the statue of liberty run with a twist (a fake wide receiver screen) I had never seen or dreamed of. I woke Loretta up screaming when Boise State won. What a game! And what I most admired was the risks the Boise State coach was willing to take to try to win. I admire risk‑taking very much.


I do want to admit to one bit of non-comfort as I pulled for Boise State. Bob Stephenson is on the TBC board. He is from Norman, Oklahoma, but is a member of a BGCT‑related church in Oklahoma. Most Texas Baptists have no idea how much they owe Bob Stephenson for the freedom we have as Texas Baptists.

You see, Bob Stephenson is the leading financial contributor to TBC every year. We would not exist without his strong support. Years ago, when he first started supporting us, he told me he thought that what Texas Baptists did was the key to the future of traditional, moderate Baptists around the world, and he wanted to do all he could to preserve the historical Baptist vision.

He has also—for many, many years (I’m sure over 40)—been the official timekeeper for all Oklahoma Sooner home football games. He loves OU, and I love him, so I felt a little bad pulling for Boise State, since relationships are, in my opinion, the most important thing in life.

I have a picture of Bob in my office in his St. Louis Cardinals uniform, right up there with my pictures of Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Nolan Ryan, Dick Butkus, and Pete Maravich. Bob played shortstop for the Cardinals in 1955 before going into the oil business.

But my friendship with Bob is much larger than a football game, and he knows I love rooting for the underdog. I’m going to be in trouble some year if Baylor suddenly becomes a powerhouse and is not an underdog (lol). I won’t know how to act.

Speaking of underdogs, it reminds me of something in Texas Baptist life that eats on me sometimes. Everyone knows I am pretty thick‑skinned about things. I do not let criticism bother me much. But it does bother me when TBC and I are accused of being an exclusive organization that shuts people out of Texas Baptist life. That is something we have worked so hard to avoid being as an organization. We have tried very hard to include—in positions of influence and importance—the underdogs, the small church pastors and laypersons in Texas, minorities, and women, wherever our influence could be used to do so.


The BGCT has worked very, very hard to be fair to every church in Texas. TBC has worked to make sure that all decisions by the BGCT were fair and inclusive. While I have personally strongly supported CBF and continue to do so, we have not acted like other state conventions and shut others out who strongly support the SBC. Our churches are free to relate to whatever other Baptist entities they so choose, unlike fundamentalist‑controlled conventions. We respect underdogs is what I guess I’m saying. We reach out to include even those who disagree with us in Texas. I’m proud of that.

Another surprise to start the year was a cat falling through the ceiling in our TBC office on January 2. We have no idea how it got into the attic. It just came crashing down into our office, frightened and scared, and finally ran into the supply room and turned over a bunch of supplies.

I went to get hunting gloves to get it out, but it was scared and, like people, when an animal is scared, it can be mean. I decided to not take that particular risk, and we called the Humane Society to come catch the cat.

One of my goals this year is to show more grace to people when they are scared and thus angry; and when they write and say things that they would not write or say if they weren’t so scared or insecure. Responding to anger with anger is usually pointless. At 54 years of age, I hope I’m still learning some things and will continue to do so in the coming year.

Thanks for reading. Come back next week. I think I will have some exciting news to report and comment on to you.

Help someone see how much God thinks of them this week.