I Wish…

I have a bit of a confession to make. I wish more Christians cared enough about their own faith to learn as much as they can about it. I wish that Christians would take the opportunity of attending Bible study at Sunday School or Midweek service or wherever they have the opportunity to do so. I wish, honestly, that Christians cared enough about what God wished them to know (as he reveals it through Scripture) that they took the time to study that Scripture.

After all, when someone plays a sport they spend an awful lot of time learning the rules of that sport and how to play it to the best of their ability. I wonder why so many Christians don’t feel the same about their faith? Why can literally dozens of hours a week be devoted to practice for basketball or football or baseball or whatever while a mere hour a week is too much to ask for participation in study of the Bible?

Oh, I know the answer. And it’s a simple one. Many, many Christians care more about their hobbies and interests than they do their faith. As long as they feel fairly certain that they’ll ‘go to heaven’ they’re ok with knowing virtually nothing about what Scripture says. But such believers are robbing themselves of a deeper relationship with God and a better understanding of their own God given gifts and ministries.

I have another confession to make. I don’t understand Christians who have time for everything but worship and Bible study. I don’t know why they don’t treasure Scripture nor the presence of God in their lives through worship and study. I just don’t ‘get it’. If I had the chance to do what mattered most to me most of all I would take every chance I got to do it. And, at the end of the day, I suppose that’s exactly what most Christians do.

A friend of mine was skipping church one week when he ran into the Pastor on his way to Church. He sheepishly said ‘I won’t be there today, Pastor’. His Pastor replied, ‘ah, buy you ARE attending YOUR church…’ I think he made his point. We love what we worship.

I wish more Christians cared enough about their own faith to learn as much as they can about it. I wish…

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Prayer Requests

1- Please remember the family of Alvin Coker.

2- Please remember Randall Bunch.

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The Final VBS Worker Meeting before VBS

  • Our final pre-VBS workers meeting will be Sunday, July 2, immediately after the morning service.
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America’s Moral Decline Continues

In its annual Values and Beliefs survey, the Gallup polling organization found that record percentages of U.S. adults believe it is morally acceptable to use birth control (91 percent), get divorced (73 percent), engage in opposite-sex sexual acts outside of marriage (69 percent), engage in same-sex sexual acts (63 percent), have a baby outside of marriage (62 percent), commit physician-assisted suicide (57 percent), view pornography (36 percent), and practice polygamy (17 percent).

The only two practices to register record low moral approval were capital punishment (58 percent) and medical testing on animals (51 percent).

America… today.

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News From the SBC Annual Meeting in Phoenix

Lonnie Wilkey reports-

SBC messengers voted to allow the Exec. Committee to study the feasibility of selling the SBC building in Nashville.

As of 8:28 on June 13, 4,366 messengers are registered for the 2017 annual meeting of the SBC in Phoenix.

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VBS Shirt Order

If you wish to get one of the 2017 VBS shirts the sign up sheet is on the bulletin board.  Orders will be placed 1 July, so 31 June is the last possible day to sign up.  After that date, unfortunately, no additional orders can be made.

The shirts are $7.50 for youth and adult small – xl, $9.50 for adult 2xl, $10.50 for adult 3xl.

This is the design (on a blue shirt)-

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Time Well Spent

How lovely are your dwelling-places, Yahweh Sabaoth.  My whole being yearns and pines for Yahweh’s courts, My heart and my body cry out for joy to the living God.  Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a nest to place its young: your altars, Yahweh Sabaoth, my King and my God. 

How blessed are those who live in your house; they shall praise you continually.  Blessed those who find their strength in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of the Balsam, they make there a water-hole, and — a further blessing — early rain fills it.  They make their way from height to height, God shows himself to them in Zion.

Yahweh, God Sabaoth, hear my prayer, listen, God of Jacob. God, our shield, look, and see the face of your anointed. Better one day in your courts than a thousand at my own devices, to stand on the threshold of God’s house than to live in the tents of the wicked. For Yahweh God is a rampart and shield, he gives grace and glory; Yahweh refuses nothing good to those whose life is blameless. Yahweh Sabaoth, blessed is he who trusts in you.  (Ps 84)

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VBS Is Coming Soon

July 17-21 from 6-8:30 p.m.  Classes for every age 4 and up.  Consider yourself and your family invited.

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Attending Church Helps You Live Longer

And this study proves it:

A recent study by Vanderbilt University professor Marino Bruce has found that people who attend religious services live longer and are less stressed. The findings held true across faith traditions, said Bruce, the associate director of Vanderbilt’s Center for Research on Men’s Health, in a video posted to the university’s YouTube channel.

“We found in our study that actually attending church is actually good for your health, particularly for those who are between the ages of 40 and 65,” said Bruce, who also is a Baptist minister.

Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%. The Plos One journal published the “Church Attendance, Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” study May 16.

“For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did  who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.

See you Sunday.

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Homecoming 2017 is in the Books

If you missed it, you missed a wonderful time.

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Everything’s Ready…

We’re just waiting for you!  See you Sunday at 10:15.

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Homecoming is Just Around the Corner

Join us Sunday at 10:15 for our song service and stay for worship and lunch!  And bring someone along with you.

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Now In America Saying ‘I’ll Pray For You’ Can Get You In Hot Water

This is unbelievable:

A Baptist mother of two has filed religious discrimination and retaliation charges against a school system that threatened to fire her for privately telling a coworker she’d pray for him.

Attorneys for Toni Richardson, an educational technician with the Augusta (Maine) School Department, are awaiting a response from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding the complaint filed May 16. First Liberty Institute of Plano, Texas and the Maine law firm Eaton Peabody filed the complaint May 16 regarding the September 2016 incident at Cony School.

“We want to make sure that teachers and employees everywhere understand that you can certainly talk about your faith in private conversations at work,” First Liberty Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys told Baptist Press, “and that no employee, whether at a school district or elsewhere, should be punished or be threatened with dismissal for engaging in private conversations that say something like, ‘I’m praying for you.'”

The coworker, a fellow member of the Augusta Baptist church where Richardson leads the nursing home ministry, thanked her for her prayers, First Liberty said in a press release. But an Augusta Schools administrator “interrogated” Richardson, “asking whether she had ever identified herself to coworkers as a Christian or privately told a colleague she was praying for him,” First Liberty said.

Four days later, the school told Richardson in a coaching memorandum that “she could not use ‘phrases that integrate public and private belief systems’ while at school,” and threatened her with discipline or termination. The school cited the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, commonly known as separation of church and state.

“I was shocked that my employer punished me for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Richardson said in the press release. “I am afraid that I will lose my job if someone hears me privately discussing my faith with a coworker.” According to the memorandum, the document would not be placed in Richardson’s personnel file, and Richardson has subsequently received “all excellent marks” on an annual employee evaluation, Dys said.

The Augusta case and others typically arise out of a misunderstanding of the constitutionally guaranteed separation of church and state, Dys said.

“I don’t know that it is often intentional that people are trying to punish people for their religious beliefs, but more often they’ve bought into this idea that there is a so-called separation of church and state which requires them to stamp out any public displays of religion,” Dys told BP. “What we have in fact, though, is a constitution that provides neutrality by the government towards religion. And instead … we’re seeing an increasing hostility towards the free exercise of religion by state actors.”

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No Power Outage is Presently Affecting Us

Around the county power is out in various locations and while we had a brief outage last night, power was quickly restored.

Join us today for Sunday School and Worship.

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Quote of the Day

spurgeon

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Midweek Bible Study!

Come at 7 tonight and join us as we study the Book of Acts.  Bring the kids and they can participate in the children’s class or the youth group.

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Disaster Relief Training

  • Training on Saturday, August 25th
  • Tentative Schedule
    • Registration
      • 7:30-8:00 AM
    • Intro to DR/Recertification for DR
      • 8:00-10:00 AM
    • Flood Recovery (aka Mud Out)
      • 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
    • Lunch
      • 12:00-12:30 PM
    • Chainsaw Classroom
      • 12:30-2:30 PM
    • POSSIBLE: Chainsaw Hands-On Training
      • 3:00-5:00 PM
  • Tentative Location
    • South Harriman Baptist Church
  • Lunch
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Happy Mother’s Day!

Mothers-Day-Photos

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Prayer Request

Please remember Paula F.  She is in the hospital.  And the Family of Joyce Armes.  She passed away this morning.

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More on the Bible and its Readers: Of Christians…

A LifeWay Research Study found that while the majority of churchgoers desire to honor Christ and even profess to meditate on biblical truths, few actually engage in personal Bible reading and the study of Scriptures. Forty percent of those surveyed claim to read their Bibles less than once a month, with 18% claiming rarely or never. Only 19% shared that they read the Bible every day.

That’s pretty awful.  So do something about it.  And if, might I add, you have problems understanding parts, I’d love to help.  Seriously.  So because I want to help, seriously, I’m offering the complete commentary (written by me) on the Bible (in PDF) for only $100.  Prepay here, include your email address, and I will send the commentary.  Readers of it have this to say:

The commentary on the Bible by Jim West, a theologian who is lecturer in Biblical and Reformation Studies at Ming Hua Theological College in Hong Kong and is also Pastor of a Baptist Church in Petros, Tennessee, explains every chapter from Genesis to Revelation to “the person in the pew”: the ordinary member of a church, who, when reading the Bible, encounters a desperately foreign culture and therefore needs some guidance to understand it.

West’s approach is straightforward: he offers the Bible in a translation (American Standard Version) and interrupts the narrative every now and then to explain a couple of verses. His comments are aimed “at English speaking and reading members of the community of faith”: in other words, he makes the ancient texts accessible for believers.

As a pastor, West has an additional task: he needs to present the text in such a way that the faithful can use the Bible as a guideline. As I said, West’s approach is straightforward. The fact that he succeeds is encouraging for everyone who thinks that the study of ancient texts is meaningful.

I am no theologian and cannot judge the theological merits, but I can say that it is a pleasant read. I am currently reading a text I know quite well, Daniel, and West has pointed out many aspects I had not recognized before. The PDFs of West’s Commentary for the Person in the Pew are on my tablet, allowing me to go through the entire Bible when my train is delayed or has been cancelled. Given the quality of Dutch public transport I expect to have renewed my encounter with the Bible within a few months. – Jona Lendering

Become familiar with the text which guides your faith and life.

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