Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Kids Kamp 2010

What a week last week! We had 519 campers (a record for Kids Kamp week), and God saved 30 of them! Many campers heard the gospel for the first time, so pray for them that the seed of the Word of God will be watered in their lives.
Also, God blessed me with the opportunity to be the Evening Evangelist again. I really enjoyed being there, seeing the kids, and preaching the Word of God to them. A huge "Thank You" goes out to all the sponsors, workers, volunteers, etc. who gave so much for this camp. Without them, it would be impossible to do all the things we did. May God bless you!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

ABA Meeting - Thursday Morning

The session was opened with song, Scripture reading, and prayer. Vice President Bro. Darrel Owens gave opening remarks and called for the report of the Baptist Sunday School Committee. The report was read and adopted.
The Business Manager, Bro. Wayne Sewell, gave the report concerning the business aspect of the operations in Texarkana. Various items were noted in these reports such as price adjustments, new equipment, sales in the Bookstore, 2011 VBS information, Spanish literature, etc. A motion and second was made to adopt the report. The motion passed.
Nominations were received for position of Business Manager. Wayne Sewell was nominated and elected.
The Editor-in-Chief, Bro. Larry Clements, gave the report concerning the literature aspect of the Baptist Sunday School Literature. An overview was given of VBS materials, the new Chosen studies, Sunday School material, Baptist Training Course materials, etc. A motion and second was made to adopt the report. The motion passed.
Nominations were received for position of Editor-in-Chief. Larry Clements was nominated and elected.
A motion and second was made to implement a 5% increase in literature prices. The motion passed.
A special prayer was held for the Business Manager, Editor-in-Chief, Baptist Sunday School Committee, and those who work in the Bookstore in Texarkana.
The proposed writers for all literature were given. All nominations were listed and approved by the messenger body. Due to the list of names, that information will be listed later.
Bro. Wayne Sewell addressed a question concerning equipment acquisition.
The election of the Baptist Sunday School Committee was brought forth. The list of those serving on the committee were given. Bro. Allen Hagood nominated Bro. Chad Graves in lieu of his own place. The nomination passed. Bro. Shipp nominated Bro. Ledbetter in lieu of his own place. The nomination passed. No other nominations were made. The 16 brethren that were listed were approved by the messenger body to serve on the Baptist Sunday School Committee for the coming year.
The new Standing Mission Committee gave a report from last night’s meeting. The report was adopted.
The following brethren were nominated for the 2011 Annual message: Billy Daniels, Carroll Kinley, Kirk Parnell, Paul Roberts, Bobby Sparks. Bro. Paul Roberts was elected. Bro. Bobby Sparks will serve as the alternate.
The following brethren were nominated for the 2011 Missions message: Caleb Wood, Gene Ray Ward, Livingstone Lambert, Bill Pennell, Jerry Baker, Stephen Massey, Kyle Lewallen, Mark Thornton, Walt Embry, Jason Palmer, Glenn Knight. Bro. Livingstone Lambert was elected. Bro. Caleb Wood will serve as the alternate.
The following were elected as officers for 2011:
President - James Calhoun
Vice-Presidents - James Crain, Darrel Owens, Joe Morrell
Recording Secretary - Terry Parrish, Lonnie Wiggins
Parliamentarian - David Robinson
Asst. Parliamentarian - David Butimore
Music Directors - Daniel Clark, Bill Crouse, Mike Paulk
The newly elected Baptist Sunday School Committee gave their report from this morning’s meeting. The report was adopted.
Director of Meeting Arrangements - Edgar Sutton
After closing remarks, the 2010 National Messenger meeting of the American Baptist Association was adjourned with a Scripture reading and prayer. (No afternoon session will be held due to all business being addressed by the end of the morning session.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

ABA Meeting - Wednesday Evening

The evening session was opened in song, Scripture reading, and prayer. After some remarks from President Copeland, the choir sang several songs of praise to the Lord. Bro. Edgar Sutton then brought forth the recommendations for the 2014 meeting place: Jacksonville, Florida; Lexington, Kentucky; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Daytona Beach, Florida. By vote of the messenger body, the 2014 meeting place will be Grand Rapids, Michigan. (The 2011 meeting place is St. Louis, Missouri. The 2012 meeting place is Fresno, California. The 2013 meeting place is Dallas, Texas.)
An announcement was made that all church letters must be received by July 30th in order to be included in the 2010 Yearbook.
A special Missions presentation (approximately 30 minutes) was then given. It was an incredibly moving, encouraging, and challenging presentation. Please pray for these men and their families as they serve the Lord around the world! A special prayer and missions offering was received after the presentation.
Bro. Alvin Dickerson, Missionary to Scotland, brought the evening message.
After the message, a few minor items of business were addressed and then the session was closed in prayer. Exhibits will remain open until 10:30 pm. Tomorrow’s morning session will begin at 9:15 am.
ABA National Meeting - Wednesday Afternoon

The proposed amendment to the Mission Policy was taken back up and voted upon. The amendment passed.
The Camp Report was given with Bro. Doug Curtis and Bro. John Pino giving reports about each camp. The report was adopted. The Camp Trustees were voted in with no change to the committee.
The Chaplaincy Report was given and adopted by the Messenger body. A call was made for more chaplains from the ABA. At this point, the ABA has 4 chaplains serving in the U.S. Military: 3 in the Army and one in the Navy. There are 4 seminary students enrolled in the Chaplain program of the U.S. Military. When these men finish their training, the ABA will be blessed with 8 chaplains serving in the U.S. Military. The ABA chaplaincy commission was asked by the U.S. Government for its opinion regarding the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The following paraphrased resolution gives the summation of their response.
Paraphrased Resolution - Whereas on January 27, 2010 the President of the United States asked for the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy along with House approval and soon vote in the Senate, and whereas such a repeal would directly impact chaplains and their religious beliefs; and whereas such implications would directly violate the First Amendment rights of those chaplains and their denominational beliefs; etc.; be it further resolved that the ABA Chaplaincy opposes such a repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; and whereas a copy of this resolution be sent to President Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, other such officials, and churches involved.
America the Beautiful was sung in response with a moment of silence to following. A special prayer was offered by one of the ABA Chaplains.
A motion and second was made for a special page of memoriam be given for Bro. Jearl Smith in honor of his service to the ABA Chaplaincy Commission.
The Chaplaincy Commission of Jearl Smith, Herbert Kitchens, Clyde Duncan, John Saunders, George Garner was given. Bro. Jearl Smith’s position is open because of his death. Bro. Charles Law was nominated for the position of Bro. Jearl Smith. This substitution was approved. The new Chaplaincy Commission of Herbert Kitchens, Clyde Duncan, John Saunders, George Garner, and Charles Law was approved.
The History and Archives Committee report was given and adopted. The History and Archives Committee has produced a special DVD of PDF files for all minutes from 1905-2009. The DVDs are available at the ABA meeting for $10. Afterward, the DVDs will be available through various committeemen and the bookstore in Texarkana but for a slightly higher price. The files are in PDF searchable format by topic and keyword. This is the first such compilation of minutes from the old General Baptist Association and the American Baptist Association.
Bro. Don Britton received a special recognition and award from the History & Archives for his commitment to the research, preservation, and study of Baptist history. Bro. Britton thanked the committee and the Messengers for such an honor.
Donald Britton, Michael Thompson, Larry Butte, Terry Parrish, Robert Ashcraft, Philip Pevehouse, and Larry Crouch currently serve on the History and Archives Committee. The same men were elected to serve on the committee for the 2010-2011 service year.
A motion and second was made to provide a page in the yearbook in honor of Bro. Leroy Polk due to his many years of service before his passing.
Law Enforcement Chaplains, Enrollment & Finance, Memorials, and other reports were given and adopted.
The Memorials committee honored the many brethren who have passed on to their reward in glory with a moment of silence.
The Resolutions Committee presented a resolution of thanks to the city of Charleston, WV, its representatives, local news affiliates, staff of hotels, convention center, and other business, the host pastors, host churches, and various other persons for their warm welcome and gracious help. This resolution was adopted with a standing vote.
Other report such as the National Women’s Auxiliary Report, National Music Director’s Report, Youth Report, and MBSF Report were given and adopted.
The meeting was adjourned until 6:30 pm.
ABA National Meeting - Wednesday Morning

The meeting began with Scripture, prayer, and various thoughts at 9:15 am. Bro. Stewart was called upon to read the minutes from yesterday’s meeting.
Bro. Ray Brooks, questioned the practice of the Standing Missionary Committee writing a church requesting for any name or request to be withdrawn for Missionary support. The concern is that such a practice may lead to further control or influence by the committee. The issue of concern refers to a divorced man serving as a Missionary supported through the office of Secretary-Treasurer. This issue is not addressed by the Mission Policy of the ABA.
A motion and second was made to approve the report of the Mission Committee meeting yesterday.
Nominations were made for the position of Secretary-Treasurer of Missions. Bro. Randy Cloud was nominated. Bro. Cloud was approved.
Nominations were taken for the Standing Missionary Committee (a committee of 25). Due to the amount of names and substitute nominations, no list will be given at this time.
Bro. Randy Cloud gave recognition to those who had served for many years: Bro. Charles Murphy (15 years) and Bro. Billy Sheppard (27 years).
All Missionaries supported through the office of Secretary-Treasurer of Missions in Texarkana were asked to come on stage for a special time of prayer.
Following the prayer, the Mattingly Family sang a special.
The following items were removed from the table to be considered as further items of business.
A motion and second was made for the recommendation of Bro. Kuk to be considered at this time. The motion carried. Bro. Kuk was added to the list of recommended Missionaries.
A motion was made by Bro. Murphy to take off a number of names (5-6) from the table to be considered for recommendation at this time. A second was made, and the motion carried. The Missionaries were added to the list of recommended Missionaries.
A motion and second was made for the recommendation of Bro. Leonel to be considered at this time. The motion carried. Bro. Leonel was added to the list of recommended Missionaries.
A motion and second was made for the recommendation of Bro. Roberts to be considered at this time. The motion carried. Bro. Roberts was added to the list of recommended Missionaries.
A motion and second was made for the recommendation of Bro. Ellery Mejia to be considered at this time. The motion carried. Bro. Mejia was added to the list of recommended Missionaries.
A motion and second was made for the recommendation of Bro. Williams to be considered at this time. The motion carried. Bro. Williams was added to the list of recommended Missionaries.
A motion and second was made for the proposed change to the Mission Policy to be removed from the table. The motion carried. (Discussion ensued but a vote was not taken due to a motion being made to adjourn. There was a second, and the meeting was adjourned until 1:20 pm.)

The exhibits will open at 11:40 am and be open until 1:15 pm. They will be open again this afternoon from 4:30-6:20 pm and tonight from 9:40-10:30 pm.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ABA National Meeting - Tuesday Afternoon & Evening

Tuesday Afternoon - 1:30 pm

Due to the Mission Committee business being handled so quickly in the morning session, no afternoon session of the Mission Committee was convened. An afternoon workshop, “World Missions Focus,” was held from 3:00-5:00 pm and was directed by Lynn Raburn. Four speakers were given approximately 30 minutes each to address different topics.

Tuesday Night - 6:30 pm

(Exhibits officially opened at 4:15 pm and remained open until 6:20 pm.)

The 2010 National Messenger Assembly of the churches of the American Baptist Association was officially opened. The evening began with a musical prelude followed by Scripture reading and prayer. After the prayer, the messenger body enjoyed the presentation of colors and the National Anthem. A prayer followed this patriotic time. A welcome to the city of Charleston, WV was given by the city representative with a response given by an ABA messenger. The proposed agenda was presented and adopted. Bro. Copeland (Texarkana) gave the President’s Address. Bro. Terry Parrish (Bryant, AR) gave the annual sermon. Following the sermon, the congregation was led in a hymn. Following the hymn any necessary business was addressed.
A motion and second was made to set aside part of the Mission Policy in order to consider Bro. Kuk in a subsequent session. The motion carried. The same motion was made for the following brethren: Bro. Ronaldo (spelling?); Bros. Ellery Mejia, Gomez, Hernandez, Castillo, Rodriguez and one other; Bro. Roberts; and Bro. Williams.
A motion and second to amend the Mission Policy was approved to be tabled until a subsequent session. According to the messenger giving this amendment, this is done to clarify a section of the Mission Policy.
Bro. Edgar Sutton presented the following locations as proposed meeting sites for 2014: Jacksonville, Florida (June 17-19); Lexington, Kentucky (June 17-19); Grand Rapids, Michigan (June 17-19); and Daytona Beach, Florida (June 24-26, 2014). A vote will be taken by the messenger body in the Wednesday evening session to decide at which site the 2014 meeting will be held, Lord willing. A question was raised concerning cities with international airports versus regional airports.
The 2011 meeting will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, Lord willing.
The meeting was closed with a Scripture reading and prayer.

Exhibits and booths remained open until 10:30 pm.
ABA National Meeting - Tuesday Morning

The Past President’s Breakfast, and the National Women’s Auxiliary Officers Breakfast both began at 7:00 am. The National Music Leaders Workshop began at 7:45 am, the National History and Archives Committee began at 8:00 am, the MBSF Council Workshop began at 8:00 am, and the Baptist Sunday School Committee began at 8:30 am. The ABA Camp Workshop began at 9:00 am.

The Camp Workshop began with Bro. Doug Curtis giving opening remarks and an opening prayer. After prayer, introductions were given. Bro. John Pino, superintendent of Pine Springs Baptist Camp (owned by the churches of the ABA), Laneville, TX, spoke about the needs and projects of that camp. As of now, the attendance at Pine Springs is higher than last year. Bro. Doug Curtis, superintendent of Bogg Springs Baptist Camp (owned by the churches of the ABA), Arkansas, spoke about the needs and projects of that camp. Other regional and local camps represented by their superintendents spoke concerning their needs and future goals. Questions and comments were fielded from those gathered.

The National Youth Meeting began at 9:30 am, and the National Women’s Auxiliary Workshop began at 10:00 am. The Missionary Committee meeting began at 10:00 am in the Coliseum.

Bro. Vance Nutt opened the Missionary Committee meeting. Bro. Randy Cloud reported on the Missionary Share Time held last night. There were 87 Missionaries sharing words about their respective works representing 17 countries and 26 states. Bro. Roger Stewart called the meeting to order and had the roll call. Bro. Cloud read the Report of the Secretary-Treasurer of Missions for the fiscal year of 2009-2010. For the fiscal year 2009-2010, $2,456,784.14 was given to help the missionaries preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Approximately 632 churches and individuals send mission offerings monthly to the office of Secretary-Treasurer of Missions. (Many, many churches send offerings directly to the sponsoring church instead of sending it through Texarkana.) The Thanksgiving Mission Offering was $283,642.06. For the past year, missionaries reported 15, 950 professions of faith, 3,605 baptisms, and many churches being established in Africa, Philippines, Mexico, Indiana, Georgia, and Wisconsin.
At the messenger meeting, 162 Missionaries will be recommended by sending/sponsoring churches to the messengers for financial support through the office of Secretary-Treasurer of Missions. (This does not include many late forms received.) These Missionaries represent 25 states and 24 foreign countries. (This is but a limited number of Missionaries representing the ABA. Many Missionaries are sent out through individual churches, local association, and state associations. At this time, a complete number of Missionaries sent out by ABA churches is unknown.)
With the monthly mission offerings currently averaging $184,000, and if no raises are approved for the missionaries for the 2010-2011 associational year, the mission offerings would need to increase $13,000 per month or 7% to meet the monthly pay out. (This does not include the requests received late.) If a 3% raise is approved for the full-salaried missionaries, the monthly mission offerings would need to increase $21,000 or 10% above the current monthly mission offerings of $184,000. The balance in the Mission Treasury at the end of May 2010 was $658,594.95.
Full salary is $3,346.00 per month for Interstate Missionaries. This does not include housing, gas, health, and other various allowances and support from sponsoring/sending churches.
The report was adopted by the Committee. A question was asked as to whether or not the information could be given for the late forms received, so information could be gathered before the evening meeting. Information was given to the committee.
Minutes from the Pre-Association Standing Missionary Committee in Texarkana in May were read. The newly recommended Missionaries were then covered. Bro. John Claypool and Bro. Danny Fudge are newly recommended Missionaries for Interstate on Designations.. Bro. Jay Ross is a newly recommended Missionary for Foreign on Salary. Bros. Albert Cabando, Javier Moreno, Dan Pettersen, Deepak Shankar, and Jose Zamarripa are newly recommended Missionaries for National on Salary. Bros. Mark Deleverio and Furlong Usher are newly recommended Missionaries for National on Designated Funds. Re-recommended Missionaries were covered.
Bro. Jeremiah Carson and his sponsoring church withdrew his re-recommendation.
Bro. David Law and his sponsoring church withdrew his re-recommendation for Interstate on Designations due to a “drop in missions giving due to him being divorced.” (He was approved at last year’s meeting with discussion. His divorce occurred before he was saved.)
All newly recommended Missionaries were approved. A motion was made and seconded that no raises be granted for those on salary.

All re-recommended Missionaries were approved except for those previously withdrawn and/or the following: Candelario Espinosa (withdrawn); Esteban Uc Kuk (withdrawn).

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 am.

Monday, June 21, 2010

2010 ABA Messenger Meeting - Monday Night

The welcome was given to the messengers at
6:30 pm in the reception room for the 85th Annual Messenger Meeting of the American Baptist Association.

The Missionary Share Time began at 7:00 with the invitation given for any Missionary, Missionary Helper, or Church representative to present God’s work in their respective location. Each Missionary was allotted two minutes for their brief presentation. Local, Interstate, Foreign, and National Missionaries, etc. gave updates, announcements, and words of thanks to those present. Many gave reports of great success and churches being organized around the world. Others gave reports of needs for money and delay of churches being organized because of financial needs. The Share Time ended at approximately 9:30 pm.

The Schools Meeting (this is comprised of ABA Seminaries within the United States) began at 7:30 pm. The next ABATS (American Baptist Association of Theological Schools) meeting will be March 10-11, 2010 in Somerset, Kentucky. Currently, there are 23 schools within the ABATS fellowship in the U.S. Foreign schools are not represented in this group. The minutes and financial reports were given and adopted from the last meeting. Various business was discussed. The meeting ended at approximately 9:00 pm.

All meetings were adjourned. Various breakfast meetings will be held tomorrow morning beginning at 7:00 am. Other workshops and committee meetings will begin at 8:00 am.

(If any of the above information is incorrect, please contact me, and I will make the necessary changes.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

No Phone Friday!

If you need something to take the place of your phone today, take your Bible! God would love to speak to you!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just wondering?

Do you ever feel like you are making a difference? Nothing weird or anything. But do you ever wonder if you are accomplishing what God wants you to accomplish? Of course, the good thing is that the results are in God's hands. We are told to be obedient and let Him handle the rest!

Monday, April 19, 2010

How About Some Change?

Many times when speaking to people about the Bible, etc., they will give an argument that the Bible contradicts itself and cannot be trusted. Of course, as believers, we know the truth, but for many of those we come in contact with, they whole-heartedly believe such an argument to be true. How are we to handle such situations? According to the words of the Apostle Peter, we are to know what we believe and give an answer to anyone that asks. So, let’s look at a few short answers concerning the argument about whether or not God repents (i.e., changes His mind, will, etc.).

Scriptures that seem to teach that God changes His mind:
Genesis 6:6 – And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Exodus 32:14 – And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

Scriptures that seem to teach that God does not change His mind:
Malachi 3:6 – For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

(All Scriptures were taken from the KJV.)

First, let me quote from the logic book (“Come, Let Us Reason” by Geisler and Brooks) that I use in my Logic and Argumentation class at Seminary pertaining to this issue. The book gives an argument followed by a refutation of said argument: (Argument) “When men repent, they make a real change, so when the Bible says that God repents, that means He must change too.” (Refutation) “Is it right to assume that God is like men in all respects? It is always possible
that the Bible sometimes uses language that men can relate to even if it isn’t theologically precise (like when it says that God has hands, wings, loins, etc.). If God is immutable (unchanging),
why would we think that this suggestion of change should be understood without metaphor?” (pages 109-110)

Second, the “Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments” by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown states the following:
“God cannot change; but, by language suited to our nature and experience, He is described as about to alter His visible procedure towards mankind – from being merciful and long-suffering, He was about to show Himself a God of judgment; and, as that impious race had filled up the measure of their iniquities, He was about to introduce a terrible display of His justice.”

Finally, consider this quote taken from "Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary":
"This language is what theologians call anthropopathic; that is, the Lord is described as having human emotions.”

One more verse (Numbers 23:19): God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (KJV)

So, what does all this mean for us today? Well, we have security in knowing that our Heavenly Father does not change. He has always been, is, and always will be holy, righteous, loving, and kind! While the world around us changes...He never does! And you can take that to the bank!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A Little Political Humor?

Thanks to Brian Jones for the following bit of humor: (don't take it too seriously...it's just a joke!)

Sen. Reid goes to a local GM dealer in Washington, D.C. with the intention of buying a brand new vehicle. He looks around and finds one he likes. After going back and forth with the salesman, he settles on a price of $45,000.
Sen. Reid and the salesman go back to the office to complete the paperwork. Sen. Reid works out a 4-year payment plan, and signs on the bottom line. The salesman shakes his hand and says, “Thanks Senator Reid, the car will be ready for pickup in 4 years.”
Sen. Reid says, “What are you talking about? Where are the keys to my new car?” The salesman replies, “No, you don’t understand Senator. You make payments for 4 years… THEN we give you the car. You know, just like your health plan.”
Sen. Reid, with a choking voice, says to the salesman, “But that’s not fair.”
The salesman replies, "Duh!"

While we sometimes are instructed to wait on the Lord, at least we know, whether it be 4 or 40 years, He will do as He says and provide all we need!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunday School

It's been awhile since we've talked about Sunday School, so I would like to revisit this topic. What should be the main objective of Sunday School? Smaller group studies, indoctrination, discipleship, fellowship, etc.? What is the best way to approach this ministry and are there some pitfalls that should be avoided?