Current News June 28
*“He Came Riding Up On a Stick Horse” (pg. 1)
Fonda Norris, EIM Shepherd Bag Coordinator – Our van pulled into the rocky dirt drive of the small village school in Honduras, as we had countless times before. It had been a long drive up the narrow mountain road to arrive here. The excited children, in their blue and white school uniforms, were already assembled and waiting for the Evangelistic International Ministries (EIM) Team under the beautiful shade trees on the school yard. As I got out of the van and began to walk through the iron gate to the entrance of the school, I noticed a small boy of about five years old come riding up to the school on his “stick horse.” When he got to the school, he got off his horse and promptly leaned it against the fence and draped the string through the wire. I could not help but smile.
*High Court Backs Church In Public Benefits Case (pg. 1)
Tom Strode – The U.S. Supreme Court struck a blow Monday, June 26, for the freedom of churches to participate in government programs with secular purposes. Seven of the high court’s nine justices agreed that Missouri violated a church’s right to exercise its faith freely by barring it from participating in a government-run, playground-resurfacing program. In its opinion, the court said excluding Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia “from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious” to the U.S. Constitution. Religious freedom advocates applauded the ruling.
*SOAR Village (pg. 1)
(DiscipleGuide) – Are you ready for hands-on ministry experiences that go hand-in-hand with the SOAR theme, Selfless? Not only will speakers be teaching and discipling students in the sessions, groups will also have service opportunities in the community, workshop opportunities for students and student ministers and much more. Complimenting all of these activities will be the SOAR Village, where students can hang out with friends while enjoying snacks and participating in ministry experiences to help with discovering their unique gifting. They will also explore opportunities to selflessly serve their own communities when they leave SOAR.
*CBC Day Set For Sept. 10 (pg. 2)
Terry Kimbrow – Mark your calendars for “CBC Day” on Sunday, Sept. 10. I am respectfully requesting that all BMAA churches set aside this Sunday, or another day this fall, to take a one-time offering for our new annual fund program, “Gifts that Transform,” and/or make a pledge to give additional offerings over the 12 months to follow. The ultimate goal of the annual “CBC Day” is to fully underwrite the expenses associated with the Bible and Missions Departments and to fund the Minister’s Discount Program — all distinctives of Central Baptist College. It is my strong desire that the churches of the BMAA come together for one day of our three-month Special Emphasis and see what God can and will do through our people.
Men’s Basketball Recognized (pg. 2)
Central Baptist College men’s basketball was recognized by the Arkansas Basketball Coaches Association (ArBCA) at a reception on the University of Central Arkansas campus. CBC was recognized as the top NAIA, Division III or other program in the state in 2016-17. They finished the season with the best record among small colleges in Arkansas.
Victory (pg. 2)
Becca Watts – When I cheered in junior high, our classic pep rally end cheer was Victory. “Victory, victory, that’s our cry; V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.” And it goes on. After all, the whole point of sporting events is to win the game, to walk away with a victory. But once we walk off the court or the field, do we understand what victory is? Do we live in victory or do we live in defeat? Recently, during our special music time at church, someone sang the song “O’ the Blood” by Selah. And while worshipping along with my friend, the lyrics stood out to me in a powerful way.
Influence Over Influx (pg. 3)
Larry Barker – The outward focus of the local church has been stated many different ways. Many have said things like, “It’s sending, not seating. It’s releasing, not keeping.” In Ripple Church, Phil Stevenson says: “By choosing influence over influx, ripple churches have sacrificed their own comfort and security in order to bring forth the next generation of Christians. They have abandoned contemporary notions of success in order to bring about Kingdom growth.” Bigger is often seen as better in the church world. Two terrible assumptions are made there. First, that being a large church guarantees spiritual health. Second, that if you are a small church, you cannot make a difference for the Kingdom. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Lifeword Visionary Leaders Around the World (pg. 3)
October 22 is Lifeword Sunday, and church registrations, T-shirt sales and video production are in full swing. This season of giving to Lifeword has been going on since 1980, but this media ministry’s Gospel reach has changed as technology has grown by leaps and bounds in almost four decades. One way Lifeword is using technological advancements is the plan to make Lifeword broadcasts and discipleship materials available to anyone around the world at lifeword.org. The working title of this new initiative is the “Lifeword Network on the Lifeword Cloud.”
Spurgeon Collection Launched Online (pg. 4)
- Patrick Hudson (Baptist Press) – A website expected to hold the largest digitized collection on the internet of writings by famed British pastor Charles H. Spurgeon is now available. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in partnership with B&H Academic, launched the website on June 21. Also known as “The Spurgeon Archive,” Midwestern Seminary’s original Spurgeon Center website has been combined with www.spurgeon.org, which was founded and donated by Phil Johnson, the executive director of “Grace to You.” The Spurgeon site will consist of accessible sermons, writings, links and a number of other Spurgeon-related documents. The site invites readers to check back weekly for additional sermons and other resources.
Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)
Hearing Set on Halting Four Ark. Abortion Laws; Miss. Religious Liberty Law Upheld on Appeal
Conditional Love (pg. 5)
Valarie Fish – The Greek language has as many as six different words translated into our English word “love.” We are most familiar with three of those — eros, from where we get the English term erotic; phileo, which encompasses brotherly love; and agape, or sacrificial love. When you do a word study of love in the Bible, you will find both phileo and agape in John 21. We often use the chapter when we study the difference between those types of love. Allow me to set the scene.
Spotlight on Missions (pg. 5)
Michel & Ruth Poirier • Quebec and Haiti.
Three Possible Pathways To Becoming Successful at Anything (pg. 6)
Brandon Cox – Zig Ziglar always said (quoting Daniel Webster), “There’s always room at the top!” And Vince Lombardi said, “The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” Success is possible. It’s within reach. It just needs to be defined well. I define success this way: Success is having done the most good only you could do while becoming the “you” that you were created to be. Let me unpack that a bit:
Created In The Image Of God (pg. 6)
Carrol Herring – Have you ever wondered how we are created in the image of God? We are not as God in our nature, as we are not omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful) or omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time). God is a Spirit. John 4:24 reads, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.” While we have a spirit, we are not just a spirit.
Creating Vision (pg. 6)
Dr. Allen Tilley (via Baptist Progress) — According to researcher Thom Rainer, most churches in America are either plateauing or declining. Over time, established churches lose their vision. They settle in and settle down, becoming mired in mediocracy. Newer churches not only grow, but grow faster because they possess a vibrant vision or expectancy for the future. Here’s how you can recapture a vision for your church:
Work Crews Needed (pg. 7)
Paul White – I remember when it was a common occurrence for churches and associations to load up a group and go help new mission projects with outreach and building projects, and I want to encourage you to consider donating a day of hands-on work. The current work in Fort Smith is all inside, so weather is not an obstacle. These outings are not only great times of fellowship, another example of its benefits is the money that is saved. When you put in an hour of work, that is equivalent to $15; multiply that by six hours times, say five workers, and you can see how valuable it becomes. It is just as though you placed $450 or more in the offering plate toward their success.
Darkness Becomes Light (pg. 6)
Mike McEuen – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). When we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, a miracle takes place. We become “partakers of the divine nature“(II Peter 1:4). Thus, a new ingredient is added to our lives — darkness becomes light! “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8).
The String Dangling In the Darkness (pg. 6)
Dr. Glenn Mollette – The only way to get out of the darkness is to follow the light. Sometimes it’s just a very faint light. Often you have to be in the darkness long enough to refocus your eyes so that you can look for a glimmer of light to follow out of the darkness. Darkness is never enjoyable. It’s often a long valley that seems hopeless and inescapable. There are different forms of darkness such as poverty, failing health, family difficulties, work dissatisfaction, discord in your relationships, failures of all kinds and the list goes on. You may have been there or you may be there now. You may not see any way out and may have given up to just try to survive the darkness of your life and existence.