Current News March 14
*Department Video Reports Available Online (pg. 1)
In the spirit of keeping annual reports at the national meeting between 10-15 minutes in length, BMA departments (DiscipleGuide, Lifeword, Missions, Ministers Resource Services and BMA Foundation) have videotaped lengthy, in-depth reports for your benefit. Department leaders want you to have all the information you need about your ministries, so follow this link (bmaamerica.org/annualreports) for a detailed report from each director, then call (844) 262-8637 and name the department you’d like to speak with regarding any questions you may have.
*CBC Expands Ministry Tuition Grant Program (pg. 1)
Central Baptist College is pleased to announce an expansion of the Ministry Tuition Grant. Previously designated the Ministers Discount, the Ministry Tuition Grant has, for many years, been available to those in a traditional degree program who are licensed or ordained to the preaching ministry and actively attending or serving in a BMA, Southern Baptist Convention, or American Baptist Association (ABA) church. Wives and dependent children of those who met these qualifications were also eligible to receive the grant.
*Join the BMAA Choir! (pg. 1)
Jeremy Willkerson – I have been given the honor and privilege of leading the worship this year at the BMAA meeting in Jackson, Miss. On Wednesday, April 18, at 3:30 p.m., we are going to be forming a BMAA choir, and that is where I will need your help! Anyone and everyone is welcome to come and sing at this time. Please spread the word to everyone you can think of who might be interested in singing with us.
*Over 100 VSM Students Head To The Mission Field (pg. 1)
Angela Rice – March 2-4, over 100 students and leaders packed out the Lutheran Worship Center on Petit Jean Mountain to prepare to take the love of Jesus to the nations! VSM World Missions Weekend is a mandatory training event held annually for students going on a summer mission trip. BMA Missions is committed to training everyone going to visit our BMA missionaries. These students and their leaders have been taught by experienced, faithful men who have dedicated their lives to making God’s name famous around the world. Who better to train our students than Dr. John David Smith, Eric Johnson and Phil Knott? We are so appreciative to them for giving up their weekend to invest in our kids.
Save the Date — CBC Day for 2018 Announced! (pg. 2)
Terry Kimbrow – Mark your calendars for “CBC Day” on Sunday, Sept. 16. 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. 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. For more information about hosting a CBC Day in your church or to schedule a CBC Day, please contact Duffy Guyton, Director of Church Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 205-8920. (Also see CBC Scores page 2)
Moral Action Resolutions (pg. 2)
Remaining MA Resolutions to be considered at the BMA of America meeting in April.
Personal Growth System (pg. 3)
Larry Barker – Systems are important because they enable you to sustain the momentum you have built. Dynamic Church Planting International has this to say about the importance of systems: “In your church, everyone hopes someone will be in charge. They hope someone will think things through ahead of time. They hope someone will come up with quality ways to attract people, lead them to Christ, disciple them and invite them to serve in ministry.” In other words, someone has to be in charge and take responsibility for systems to operate effectively. Whose job is it to make sure you grow personally on a regular basis? Who will make sure that your “being” with God is sufficient to sustain your “doing” for God? The three primary entities responsible for your spiritual growth are the Lord, your church and you.
It Makes All the Difference (pg. 3)
Doug Munton – Having practiced daily devotions for many years, I spend some time each day (mornings usually work best for me) reading my Bible and praying. I read a certain number of chapters of the Bible, underlining as I go. And I spend time praying by praising and thanking God, confessing sin, asking for my needs and praying for the needs of others. I will tell you that sometimes I don’t feel much like doing that. But feelings are terribly fickle.
Random Thoughts From Mark (pg. 3)
Dr. Tony Cleaver – “John came baptizing…” (Mark 1:4). Many were baptized by John in the Jordan River. They complied to a baptism of repentance. They confessed their sins. Have you confessed your sins to God? Have you been baptized? Possibly you have waited for a very special time in your life to be baptized. Well, today is that day! This is the week; now is that time! As you confess your sins and as you repent, you can be baptized — just like in the days of John! Go to your church — hurry to your church — to be baptized.
Extraterrestrials and our Search for God (pg. 4)
Amy Hebert – Recent news about the United States’ Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP) — aimed at investigating “unexplainable” incidents in the skies — causes many people to wonder whether intelligent beings exist outside of Earth. While many of us roll our eyes at the suggestion of little green men flying around outside our solar system, it is not a universal skepticism. For some people, the hope is that we are not alone; and that if we look hard enough, we can find a way to communicate with our non-human neighbors.
Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)
Some Ark. Schools to Display ‘In God We Trust’ Posters; LGBTs Force Closure Of Another Christian Business; Sanger Poster Removed After Pro-Life Students Protest; Subterranean Water in Diamonds Confirms Genesis 7 Flood
Every Church, Every Nation (pg. 5)
A couple of the Sunbeams at Liberty Baptist Church at Stamps had a display set-up there for 2018 World Missions Day. Nell Smith, who has made many mission trips to Mexico, donated all the items that were handmade by the Hispanic women. The photo shows sisters, Macy and Katelyn Downs showing off the piñatas they made in their Sunbeam class. The church bulletin board was filled with photos from mission:world, articles from the Baptist Trumpet and classroom work from Geri Lofton’s Sunbeams studies of Hispanic Missions. Adam Rogers serves the church as pastor.
Missionary Personality Profile (pg. 5)
Jimmy Walker (Philippines)
He Picked Me! (pg. 5)
Pat Quesenbury – Growing up can be hard, especially when you are smaller than other kids your age. That’s how it was for me. Oh, how I loved to play; but the fun ended when my friends divided up in teams to play games such as “Red Rover, Red Rover.” I wasn’t good at that rough, highly competitive game because I wasn’t strong enough to break through the line. Still, I hoped, and shouted (in my head), “Pick me! Pick me!” But it never happened — until there was no one else to choose. Sometimes it happens that way for adults. Whether real or imagined, some folks feel left out, unwanted or unable to find their way in our complicated world. Here is an excerpt from my friend, Brenda Bateman’s excellent blog, highlighting this reality and her own personal experience:
Most Churches Offer Wi-Fi But Skip Twitter (pg. 6)
Bob Smietana – Going to church for some can be a bit like hanging out at Starbucks. The coffee’s hot, the people are friendly, and the Wi-Fi is almost always free. Seven in 10 Protestant churches (68%) provide Wi-Fi for both guests and staff, according to a survey of Protestant senior pastors that LifeWay Research released Jan. 9. Most also have a website (84%) and a Facebook page (84%). But few have ventured on Twitter (16%). Once wary of technology, Protestant churches now seem all in, said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. It’s another way to connect with guests and worshipers alike.
The Ending Better Than the Beginning (pg. 6)
Dennis Baker, Missouri Baptist – (Gen. 1:1) The first chapter of the Bible is a description of the phenomenal beginning of all of creation. Let’s take a few moments and try to visualize the beauty of God’s creation the moment He finished creating. Envision the stunning display of the blue sky, bright yellow moon and the remarkable color of the sun. There was no smoke or smog to impair our view. Marvel at the beautiful deep blues of the seas and oceans and the clearness of the rivers and streams. Think about the awesome sight of the various colors and shapes of the birds, fish, animals and plant life.
Part 4 – Getting a Grip (pg. 7)
Paul White – Another way to overcome worry is to live one day at a time. Jesus said, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6:34). Generally, we have our hands full with our present problems, so why take on tomorrow’s troubles? It’s also true that much of what we worry about never happens anyway. How foolish! Most of the time, we are anxious over nothing. Much of the time we try to justify our anxiety by reasoning that we have due cause for concern. But, friends, there is a vast difference between worry and concern. We must remember that God promised that He would not put more on us than we can endure. The indwelling Holy Spirit brings a calmness to our soul, the tension we’ve bottled up inside is relieved and we will feel better if when we learn to live one day at a time.
Mailbox (pg. 8)
Transgender Why? (name withheld); and Editor’s Response