February 24, 2024
Affirmation – “God is my unfailing and immediate supply of all good.” - Florence Scovel Shinn
Announcement of Interest – Attendance Reward!
We have instituted a fun little activity designed to reward you for attending and participating in lodge and lodge functions.
Beginning immediately, whenever you attend a lodge meeting or function, you will receive a ticket to place in a drawing. At the first meeting in December 2024 (the 3rd), we will draw a lucky winner who will receive $200. Triple Ticket Event: The Chili Cookoff on Saturday March 2 will be a triple ticket event. Please see lodge calendar below for details on earning the 3 tickets.
We have two Master Mason degrees coming up on February 27 and March 12. Please plan on attending.
My Ramblings – You have to put in the effort!
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.Hebrews 4:12.
In 2009 the Center for Bible Engagement did a study on the effects of reading the Bible. The study was called “Understanding the Bible Engagement Challenge: Scientific Evidence for the Power of 4” by Arnold Cole, Ed.D. and Pamela Caudill Ovwigho, Ph.D. https://bttbfiles.com/web/docs/cbe/Scientific_Evidence_for_the_Power_of_4.pdf
There were some very interesting insights about who reads the Bible, and it turns out that US teens read the Bible more than any other demographic both among the general population and self-identified born-again Christians. This is in comparison to Tweens, 18 to 24 years olds and 25 years and older.
Those people from 18 to 24 were the lease likely to read the Bible for all demographics.
The study goes on to site some very interesting statistics about those who read their Bible 4 or more times per week across all demographics:
Getting drunk = 57% lower odds
Sex outside marriage = 68% lower odds
Pornography = 61% lower odds
Gambling = 74% lower odds
Sharing faith with others = 228% higher odds
Discipling others = 231% higher odds
Memorizing scripture = 407% higher odds
It also turns out reading the Bible 4 times a week was the most effective way to reduce negative habits, even more than church attendance or praying at least once per day.
Another interesting fact is that reading the Bible 1 to 3 times a week had little effect on negative behaviors for adults but did significantly impact a teens desire to engage in smoking and getting drunk.
Their conclusion reads: “In this paper, we have made the case that disengagement from the Bible is the most critical challenge facing the Christian community today. Unique among world religions, Christianity is about a relationship that God very much desires to have with each one of us. For the relationship to grow and mature, it must include regular two-way communication whereby the Christ-follower hears from God (through scripture) and talks to God (through prayer). Today too many of us are focusing on one-way communication and, thus, losing the day spiritually to the temptations and concerns of this world.
The good news is that four scriptural touches a week can make a huge difference in turning this tide. However, to get God’s people engaged in God’s Word, we must push past the “too busy” and “no time” excuses. Finding a way to get hearing from God through the Bible back on believers’ priority lists will go a long way towards building a stronger Christian community and a more effective witness for Christ.”
I realize not all of our Brothers profess Christianity, but I hope those who don’t will benefit from this study, and maybe find the same affects with their Holy Books.
My prayer is that we will begin to understand the power of reading the Word. Amen.
Note from the SW: Building a Civil Brotherhood by Assuming Positive Intent – Nathan Dollarhide
This past week we had a visit from our DDGM. He delivered a quick message on our Grand Master’s theme for the year: “Building a Civil Brotherhood”. In line with that theme, he talked about how we interact with each other and how sometimes, and I am paraphrasing here, we take a brother’s words and twist them.
I recently had a conversation with another brother, and we related how we sometimes are blunt or abrupt with others and as such we have been misinterpreted at times as rude or insensitive. Most times once someone gets to know me, they realize that is just my demeanor and I am actually quite civil and sympathetic. Too often I just don’t think about how my actions or words may be interpreted by others or just take myself too seriously.
All of this reminds me of an interview I heard on a podcast where the person being interviewed was speaking on how we should interact with each other at work, home, and everywhere in between. Forgive me but I do not remember who was being interviewed so I cannot attribute it to them properly. He used this acronym, API which stands for Assume Positive Intent.
Assuming positive intent means believing that someone has good intentions, even if their actions or words may seem harmful. It involves giving the benefit of the doubt and refraining from immediately jumping to negative conclusions about their motives.
I believe if we would all attempt to Assume Positive Intent with every brother we encounter we can Build a Civil Brotherhood!
Jaunts with your Junior Warden – Aaron Walker
I had a wonderful discussion with a couple of brothers I know from other jurisdictions last night (Friday). The question was about how to approach another brother with counsel. Much back and forth was had but a few points really struck a chord with me.
First, and these are opinions only, there are different levels of egocentricity with people and how or even if you can approach them at all depends on that level. If they are so sure of their correct perception/stance, then any attempts to reason will have no effect and continued intervention on one’s part could strain or even damage the relationship.
Then we can drop to the middle levels of that egocentric view (we actually were using the term narcissism more). These are strong opinions of the person that they themselves are right but are more amenable to discussion. This can vary in intensity from “I’m right but let’s talk so I can show you” to the “well shucks, you make good points, maybe I’m incorrect”. This is where many of us should sit. (Remember that duality talk I did a while back? Somewhere in-between the extremes is the best spot to be at) if the person is at that level, the approach becomes the important part, and that’s all on you.
Be courteous and affable, kind and with condescension (remember those words?). This didn’t strike me until later that, oh my gosh, this falls perfectly in line with our Grand Master Carter’s message/mission: Brotherhood in Civility (or Civility in Brotherhood go check the Grand Lodge website for his letter).
As I notice the length of this I will just leave you with this closing remark, consciously look inward and ask yourself about how you handled an interaction. Reflect on wording, phrasing, body language, and tone. What could’ve been improved and why? Pretty soon you’ll subconsciously do those things and hopefully improve your future transactions with all mankind.
February 27 (Tuesday) – Master Mason Degree. Dinner at 6 pm, with degree to follow.
February 29 (Thursday) – OES Potluck Dinner and Bingo. All masons are invited to attend with families.
March 1st (Friday) – OES Exemplification Noon to 10 pm.
March 2nd (Saturday) – Chili Cook Off. 10:30 am to 1:30 pm This is a fundraiser for Rainbow Assembly #74. Brothers please be there by 9:30 am so we can make sure the building is ready for visitors. This is a “triple ticket” attendance event. One ticket for attending and 2 additional tickets for helping to set up and tear down. $10 to enter your chili in the contest and $10 to taste and vote on the best chili.
March 5th (Tuesday) – Stated business meeting. Dinner at 6 pm, lodge at 7 pm.
March 12th (Tuesday) – Master Mason Degree. Dinner at 6 pm, degree to follow.
March 19th (Tuesday) - Stated business meeting. Dinner at 6 pm, lodge at 7 pm.
March 26th ( Tuesday) – District 12 Meeting. Dinner at 6 pm, District meeting at 7 pm.
April 6th (Saturday) – Exotic Plant Sale Event. 11 am to 5 pm.
April 23 (Tuesday) – Student and Teacher of Today. 6 pm, Kirkland Auditorium located at 808 E College St, Broken Arrow, OK 74012.
April 27 (Saturday) – Master Builder Class. Times TBD. (Editor’s Note: This is also my birthday. Check with me for a list of presents. 😊)
May 4 (Saturday) – Camp Bandage – Child ID event. Lo
cation: Events Park, 21101 E. 101st St., Broken Arrow. Noon to 4 pm. We will need volunteers for this event. The purpose of Camp Bandage is to provide a vehicle to enable community professionals to provide safety, health and first aid training to its citizens in a safe, moral, and cost-free environment. https://campbandage.org/#section-1
May 16 (Thursday) – Masonic Night at Drillers Baseball. Tickets are $35 each. Masons and their wives/significant others are invited. Food and drink included in the ticket price. Tickets on sale at https://balodge243.square.site/.
June 3 (Monday) – District 12 meeting at Pilgrim Rock.
August 28 (Wednesday) – District 12 meeting at Akdar.
December 21 (Saturday) – District 12 meeting at Tulsa 71.
Please remember to pay your dues. They were due by January 1, 2024. Also, as our membership declines, and our expenses continue to increase, please examine your finances, and see if you can contribute an additional amount to the lodge, especially perpetual and service year exempt members. Every little bit helps. You can pay dues or make a contribution at https://balodge243.square.site/. Or mail in a contribution to 117 W. Commercial St., Broken Arrow, OK, 74012.
Another quick note, to sit in lodge you technically must be “in good standing” which means being up to date on your dues.
If you need to make arrangements for payment of your dues, please contact us so we can work out a plan.
As most of you know, our BA Member RW:. Don Stanton is Senior Grand Warden this year. So, in November 2025 we would expect him to be Grand Master. There are significant costs associated with his endeavor, including a reception the Sunday after he is installed. That reception will no doubt be in the Tulsa area. We have set up a way for you to contribute to help defray these expenses at https://balodge243.square.site/. Any contribution would be appreciated.
Please note we are making every attempt to keep our meetings to one hour. However, if you attend and the meeting is going long, you can certainly excuse yourself from the meeting at any time.
As always, if you need a ride to any of these activities, please call or text me at 316.209.7400, or email me at email@example.com .
W:. Scott A. MacDonald, Treasurer and Membership Calling Chairman
PS – I will be posting the weekly newsletter on our website at https://ba-mason.org/newsletter.