Last week I wrote that Easter Sunday will be our last day in this church where we have served since September of 1990. In mid-May I will become the Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans (BAGNO). Having pastored since 1962, I expect the transition to be difficult at first, but am excited at the opportunity to spend more time with the local ministers and to get to know all our 125 (or so) churches and missions.
The question has already arisen: What will happen to ‘The Matter of Fax’ article we’ve been producing each Tuesday since late 1996 (and which our church office staff has been e-mailing to some 3,000 recipients)? Thanks to my sons Neil and Marty, we do have an answer.
A few years ago, Marty–ace of all things Internet–reserved www.joemckeever.com, figuring that sooner or later his old man would be needing it. That time is here. A new mailinglist has been created so you can continue to receive the Matter of Fax, but you will need to subscribe to the new list. Just send a blank email message to and then reply to the confirmation email it will send you. You can also subscribe to the list and view the latest Matter of Fax at www.joemckeever.com.
You would be interested to know how this article came about. Blame it on Don Davidson, the terrific pastor of the Mount Hermon Baptist Church just outside Danville, Virginia (and presently serving as president of Virginia Baptists). Don and his wife, Audrey showed up in our worship services one Sunday morning. He had been appointed as a new trustee of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and was in town for a meeting. We went to lunch that day, and have been close friends ever since.
Don Davidson puts out a one-page fax (no e-mail) he calls FAX OF LIFE. It goes into offices all over his part of Virginia, where people post it on bulletin boards. I was so impressed by the idea and by Don’s perceptive writing, that we emulated the plan. Before long, we discovered that faxing two pages long-distance costs real money, whereas a single monthly rate covers hundreds of e-mails sent all over the world. So, what began for us as A MATTER OF FAX evolved into an e-mail ministry. Eventually, we built our mailing list up to 3,000 e-mails and about 50 faxes. (And yes, we toyed with changing the name. But “A Matter of E-mail” just didn’t sound right!)
Jim Lancaster, associate pastor of our church and resident computer-czar, has posted hundreds of previous MATTER OF FAXES on our church website. Since many of them make great illustrations and sermon starters, we encourage Bible teachers and ministers to dip into the trove and use it freely. The site is www.fbckenner.org. You will also find hundreds of my religious cartoons there, available free of charge by simply downloading. Again, thanks to Jim, the cartoons are arranged by subject.
The plan calls for joemckeever.com to be a web log, also known as a “blog.” My son, Marty has had one of his own for years. www.vigilancematters.com gives him a forum for speaking out on current issues of the day. He also provides a link to other blogs he has found interesting. A recent Newsweek article told how blogs are the coming thing, that thousands of people have set up their own accounts to announce their views on anything and everything. Bloggers, as they are called, link up with each other in a kind of e-community family.
The advantage of setting up our own web log is that I can go to the site and write the article straight (bypassing secretarial assistance and the computer headaches we frequently encounter). There is no disadvantage, I’m happy to say. You may ‘bookmark’ our website and visit it as often as you please whenever you want, or give us your e-mail address and the article will arrive at your computer as it has done for years. www.joemckeever.com.
There is a wonderful line in Proverbs that fits here. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (27:17) That’s what happens when we share with each other our journey, our struggles, our faith, and the answers we have found. Life is too short to live it alone. The struggle is too hard to endure by yourself. The journey is too brief for each generation to start all over with the questions. And so, those who have found the way turn around and share with the ones coming behind. And those of us still searching share what we have learned.
I learned something at the funeral home the other day. For years, I have stood in the chapel of our local mortuary conducting services and pointed out the ‘exit’ signs above the doors. “For us, it certainly looks like an exit,” I would say. “But from the other side, it’s an entrance. Our loved one has exited us, but up in Heaven, they are welcoming him home.” But the other day, I noticed something different.
Some of the doors in the funeral home chapel are marked with usual “exit” signs. But two other doors have bold red signs that read “Not an exit.” Behind the door one might find a storage closet or even a hallway that goes nowhere. The doors look pretty much the same. However, some lead out and some lead to dead ends.
Those who have found “the living way” should share the information. (“A new and living way” is a reference to Hebrews 10:20) Likewise, the dead-end ways should be publicized also.
Iron sharpens iron. It’s a great plan to strengthen our mettle. (Groan)
Please continue my receipt of your “The Matter of Fax” articles. I enjoy them greatly. I hope you have a very easy and rewarding transition into your new position. MAY GOD BLESS YOU GREATLY.
Congratulations on the many years you have served the Lord and the many lives you have touched. We continue to be thankful for the special part you played in our lives. Please continue sending us your “Matter of Fax” articles by e-mail. We look forward to them every week.
We will continue to remember you in our prayers as you begin a new endeavor. MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU AND THE WORK YOU DO IN HIS NAME.
Dr. McKeever: I formerly served as the youth pastor of Christian Life Center (First A/G) in Kenner on Roosevelt Blvd. During those years, I admired the wonderful work of FBC Kenner. I now serve as senior pastor of Smyrna A/G (northwest Atlanta metro) & have only recently subscribed to “Matter of Fax.” Congratulations on your upcoming transition & God’s new assignment. I would like to continue receiving “Matter of Fax” in the future. Blessings upon you, your family & your ministry.
I am the secretary for the Bethlehem Baptist Association in Frisco City, AL and I have enjoyed getting A MATTER OF FAX and am happy to see that I will still be able to get the same through your website.
I will be praying for you as you take on the responsibilities of DOM. I am presently without a Director of Missions as ours retired last November. Our Search Committee is hard at work at this time. Pray that God will reveal the man he has to lead this association of churches.
God Bless you as you continue to serve him.
Please add me to your new email address to receive Matter of Fax. May God bless you in your new work for God. Sarah Hall
Joe: May God continue to bless you as you move into this new assignment in His ministry. Those of us who have known you for some years are not the least surprised that you would now be taking on a new challenge.
Thanks for the decision to continue “A Matter of Fax” and thanks for over 30 years of friendship and Christian Love. Wow, one of us must be getting old!
My family and I attended FBC Kenner for a year before my father was transferred to West Monroe, Louisiana. We had come from serving another local church for 12 years. The time we were at FBC was a great healing process, and it prepared us for the journey of being transferred. I am now a 19 year old college student at Louisiana Tech University, and I have read and enjoyed Matter of Fax for 3 years. I have truly been blessed by God through you. Thank you for being a faithful servent. I wish you all the best, and you and your family are certainly in my prayers. May God bless you!
Dear Joe, Boy you have come along way since first we met. I am so proud to call you my friend. God Bless you and Margaret greatly in your new work. My love to you all. Love Myra
Dear Brother Joe,
Please continue to send us your Matter of Fax. After having you as our beloved pastor for almost 14 years, it will help to have your wisdom and insight continue on in our lives. Thank you for your faithful leadership. God bless you and Ms. Margaret. Love in Christ,
Gail, Jim, Sarah, & Jake Smith
I started posting your “Matter of FAX” after Dr. Woods obtained permission to do so on his (and my) site, woundedheart.org. Since then I’m hooked. I hope you continue with the articles, as they are timely and surely a blessing from God. By the way, I post subscription information to your letter on site.
I don’t really even know where to begin. Who but God would bring you into our lives 8 years ago as we were thrust into this city so quickly knowing no one? And to top it off–you were from my home state AND county! Your grandson became Savannah’s best friend. Margaret saved my life in those early days. Now Neil and Julie are our dearest friends. Julie’s like the sister I never had and I can’t imagine life without the McKeevers. Thanks for all you do/have done! We love you and Margaret dearly. We pray that this next chapter is the best one yet! Love, Johnny, Mary, and Savannah
Dear Dr. McKeever,
Congratulations on your appointment to lead BAGNO. It is good to know that the Baptist Association will be in your capable hands. May God bless you and your family.
I have enjoyed receiving A Matter of Fax from a fellow Winston Co. High grad. I am proud that God has blessed you life so richly and have enjoyed your articles and cartoons very much. They have been a blessing to so many. I wish to continue to receive A Matter of Fax. God bless you in your new work for our Lord. Jane Ward Smith
Brother Joe –
I so enjoy “Matter of Fax” each week and am truly glad to know that it will continue. Although I moved to Houston almost 10 years ago and attend another church, I still consider you “my pastor”. God continues to use you to help me learn and grow. My love to you and Miss Margaret.
Sharon “Crespo” Zuckero
Dear Dr. Mckeever, I was reading a Pulpits Helps magazine and i read your article on the prayer.(matter of fax)Wash Your Hearts Before Praying .I would most sincerly like to have a copy of that prayer to make it a part of my prayer life. Thank You very much with the
Heart of CHRIST