Current News June 6
*BMA Seminary’s 61st Commencement (pg. 1)
Dr. Philip Attebery – Twenty-three individuals received a degree from the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary of Jacksonville, Texas during commencement exercises conducted Saturday, May 19. First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Texas hosted the event.
*One Lord, One Faith, One Mission (pg. 1)
Editor’s Note: Jeff Swart, pastor of First Baptist Church at Galena, Kan., was elected president of the BMA of America at this year’s meeting. Bro. Swart is a gifted writer, and I am pleased that he said “yes” when I asked him to write a monthly column for the Baptist Trumpet. The topics will be varied, and I believe we’ll all be blessed by them!
*EIM’s Labor of Love (pg. 1)
Fonda Norris – Evangelistic International Ministries (EIM) is excited to let everyone know that another shipment has left here and made it to there! “Here” being our EIM Shepherd’s Bag Storage Warehouse in Warren, and “there” being the Central American country of Honduras! After being held up a few months by the presidential election last November, we finally were able to complete our paperwork with the new government, connect all the dots and get this labor of love filled with 14,890 Shepherd’s Bags shipped. Now they are ready to be used to glorify our Heavenly Father, make our Savior’s name famous and declare the truth of the saving Gospel in schools and villages across Honduras.
*Court Declines Hearing On Arkansas’ Act 577 (pg. 1)
Rose Mimms – Arkansas Right to Life (ARTL) is pleased that the United States Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by Planned Parenthood of Greater Plains on the 8th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that lifted a temporary injunction of Act 577, the Arkansas Abortion Inducing Drug Safety Act. Planned Parenthood in Little Rock and Fayetteville are the primary providers of medication abortion in Arkansas using the powerful drug cocktail of Mifepristone and Misoprostal to end pregnancies up to the 11th week of pregnancy. In 2016, 556 medication abortions were reported to the Arkansas Department of Health.
*Keeping Teens Busy In the Summer (pg. 2)
Travis Plumlee – You have to strike a nice balance with teens during the summer. All young people need some down time, so it is perfectly acceptable to let your teen have some expanded free time during the summer. There are a handful of parents out there who have a rigorous schedule for their teens during the summer. They might want to consider softening a rigid schedule. A little extra sleep time and some fun time is okay for your teen. Most parents, however, are on the other end of the spectrum. They allow their teens to have too much free time because that is what their teen “wants.” But too much free time will not only undermine their growth potential in all developmental areas, it also is a great catalyst for sin. When teens have too much unstructured time on their hands, the parents are, in effect, setting up a greater potential for moral failure for their teens in the summer.
Board Meeting Highlights (pg. 2)
Terry Kimbrow – The Central Baptist College Board of Trustees met Friday and Saturday, June 1-2. The three standing committees of the Board (Academic, Advancement and Finance) met on Friday to conduct business and hear recommendations from college administrators. The full board convened on Saturday morning. All members of the Executive Leadership Team gave a report relative to his/her area of responsibilities, then each committee secretary gave a report of his/her respective committee meeting to the full board. (CBC Sports is also on page 2.)
Three P’s of Evangelism (pg. 3)
Larry Barker – Evangelism seems to be taking a back seat to almost every other kind of activity in churches today. Several authors have expressed concern about how even church plants can grow and do well, but not reach the people that need to be reached the most — the lost. One recent survey was shocked at how many in full time ministry say they do not have the “gift” of evangelism. In John 4:35 Jesus said, “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” In The Evangelism Handbook, Alvin Reid says: “The church growth movement influenced many in the latter half of the twentieth century. It offered a three-tiered look at the process of evangelism. The three components are these:
Spotlight on Missions (pg. 3)
Stan & Donna Scroggins, Philippines
My Sister’s Love Stopped Me From Sinning (pg. 4)
Editor – As the late Editor David Tidwell used to say, “Confession is good for the soul, but it sure is hard on the reputation.” But here goes! My sister, Barbie, is a very talented woman. In fact, I always tell her that God must have given her all my talent, too; because when it comes to making things, I have 10 clumsy thumbs. She is especially good at counted cross stitch, and has made several of them for me that I cherish, especially the Thomas Kinkade. Her husband, Joe, is a deacon and Sunday School teacher at North Hills Baptist Church in Sherwood; and Barbie has made many inspirational cross stitch “paintings” that adorn the walls of their large Sunday School class. They are all beautiful, but when I walked into their class one day, there was one that absolutely took my breath away. (See photo above!)
Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)
AR Lawmakers Looking at Proposal to Tax Churches; Court Rules In Favor Of Christian Baker; Man Who Destroyed Monument is Acquitted; 14 Governors Plan to Sue Over PP Defunding; ABS Requires Adherence To Biblical Behavior, Some Quit; La. Governor Signs Bill That Bans Abortions After 15 Weeks; ‘Out of Ashes’ Rebuilding Campaign Launched; Players Will Stand Or Stay off the Field
Blaylock, Seminary Library Director, Retires after 52 Years (pg. 5)
Dr. Philip Attebery – Dr. James C. Blaylock of Jacksonville, Texas has retired after 52 years of service to the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary’s Gerald D. Kellar Memorial Library. He began working as the library’s assistant director in 1966. Under his direction as director, the library’s main collection grew from just 4,650 books to more than 85,000 in 2018, along with an additional 25,000 items in the library’s physical collection. In recent decades, Blaylock oversaw the digitization of the library card catalog and the adoption of electronic research databases for use by the students and faculty of the seminary. He especially enjoyed collecting and maintaining items related to the churches of the BMA of America and BMA ministers. In 2016, the school received a 17th century Sefer Torah scroll, which it named after him.
MRS Team Members Retire (pg. 5)
Congratulations to Minister’s Resource Service’s Alice Griffin, Sharon Daniels, Joy Hoy and Ron Chesser for a job well done. These four began planning their retirement from MRS about two years ago, and May 31 marked the end of an era for them. They have served BMA pastors, staff and missionaries with retirement, benevolence and benefits for many years. (Facebook, Gloria Chesser)
Preachers and Politics (pg. 5)
Dr. Mark Livingston – I read a most interesting book entitled The Preacher and the Presidents. It revolves around Billy Graham’s ministry in the White House. As an avid presidential fan, this book is right up my alley. Pondering the book, my mind turns to a current issue pastors face. How far should a pastor be involved in the political spectrum? This is a valid question now more than ever. With an emotionally charged election coming, there is little doubt that we will see more and more pulpits turn to the issues of politics. Some members have encouraged me to preach from the rooftop against certain candidates, and I have had others threaten to leave if I started down the political path.
Random Thoughts From Malachi (pg. 6)
Dr. Tony Cleaver – Mal. 1:5, “The Lord is great, even beyond the borders of Israel…” We Christians are sometimes provincial and territorial in our view of God, the works of God and His involvement in our small planet. At times, Baptists might think that God is a Baptist and deals only with Baptist interests. The same can be said of Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, and even Independent churches of all stripes. The Lord is great, even beyond the smallness of our denomination. He is great beyond our city, state and even our nation with all its peculiar nationalistic views and policies.
Dads Need to Take Time and be Dads (pg. 6)
Diana Chandler – “America is suffering the effects of a fatherless generation, born not only of single mothers, but of Christian fathers who fail to have an adequate presence in their children’s lives,” evangelist and author Jerry Drace said on Mike Huckabee’s syndicated radio broadcast in a mid-January 2013 segment. “We have so many children in our nation who are growing up in single-parent homes. They have no concept what it is to be under authority, have a father figure in their life,” said Drace, author of From the Heart of a Father: Godly Counsel from Proverbs.
Spiritual Health (pg. 6)
Mike McEuen – “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:17-19). Good health is a very special blessing. We all try to do our very best to stay healthy. But, as Christians, our spiritual health is even more important than our physical health.
Special Emphasis (pg. 7)
Paul White – Once again it is that time of the year that you, the churches of the BMA of Arkansas, have set aside to receive a special offering to further the planting of churches here at home. God has given us a great group of men who not only serve us but serve the One who called them to be missionaries. In the past, it was customary to travel around to individual churches and share with them what they so faithfully support. In recent years, possibly because of the introduction of media points such as Facebook and websites, invitations have fallen.
Four Mistakes I Made as a Father (pg. 8)
Thom Rainer • Baptist Press – Anyone who knows me understands. Anyone who has heard me speak understands. And most who have read my books understand. They all know how much I love my three sons, and how proud I am of each of them. Indeed, I often go overboard with the stories and sometimes sappy sentiment I express about Sam, Art and Jess. On more than one occasion, I have received accolades about my parenting. People have told me that I’ve done such a great job as a dad. I confess that I often swell with pride at the compliments. I am now a grandfather. And in this second half of life, I sometimes review those days when my boys were at home. I miss them greatly. And I do have regrets.