Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mixing of Beer, Church Contested

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A new church is attracting members with unconventional methods such as pouring beer during theological discussions, but Southern Baptists say the outreach runs contrary to what the ministry represents.

A congregation of young St. Louisans called The Journey has grown from 30 members in 2002 to 1,300 members. The growth has been fueled by energetic programs, including Theology at the Bottleworks, a gathering at a suburban St. Louis microbrew pub for discussions on serious and offbeat topics linked to religion, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported yesterday.

Conversations cover issues from racism in St. Louis to modern art controversies to the debate about embryonic stem cell research.

Darrin Patrick, The Journey’s founder and pastor, said participants at the pub are invited to Sunday services.

Read more of this story on the Christian Post.

London Survey Reveals Youth Hungry to Hear About Religion

A new survey has revealed that people aged between 18 and 24 are more open to taking part in faith-based dialogue than any other age group.

The survey conducted by London-based Premier Radio found that Christians came out at the top of the poll, with 74 per cent of 18-24 year olds willing to listen to Christians talk about their own faith.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

Sunday School Money

A little boy came home eating a big candy bar. Seeing the candy bar, his mother remembered he had already spent all his allowance money. Surprised, she asked him where he got it.

"I bought it at the store with the dollar you gave me," he said."But that dollar was for Sunday School," his mother replied.

Smiling, the boy said, "I know, Mom, but the Pastor met me at the door and got me in for free!"

Two Super Bowl Stories

Colts chaplain partners with Dungy in imparting the faith
By Art Stricklin
Baptist Press

MIAMI (BP)--Pastor Ken Johnson has overcome the roughest of family situations and personal demons to become a minister, work for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and serve as the chaplain for the Indianapolis Colts.

He has
seen firsthand the wonders and changes God can bring to any situation. But when he got a phone call from a person identifying himself as newly hired Colts head coach Tony Dungy, Johnson was convinced it was a prank, not God's answer to a prayer.
Read more of this story on Baptist Press.

Chicago Bears' Lovie Smith underscores his faith
By Art Stricklin
Baptist Press

MIAMI (BP)--Lovie Smith had a limited amount of time during his Super Bowl XLI media session Monday, but the Chicago Bears head coach said he could spend hours talking about his star players and their efforts to get the team to their first Super Bowl berth in 21 years.

Smith also wanted to spend part of his allotted time talking about what was most important in his life, his faith in Jesus Christ.

Read more of this story on Baptist Press.

Agreeing To The Agreement

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Have You Seen This DVD?

The "Ministry Overview" DVD has been completed for the James Croft Evangelistic Association. The presentation about this full-time ministry features:

If you are a pastor; church or ministry staff member or leader; or member of a church and you are interested in this ministry or wanting to share this ministry with someone in one of these positions, we will be happy to mail a copy of the DVD to you. Just send an e-mail with your name, mailing address, telephone number and information about the ministry that will be receiving the DVD and one will be mailed. If you would like to donate to this ministry to help cover postage and supplies, please follow the "Contribute to this Ministry" links in the left column of this site.

Please note: At this time, this is limited to mailing addresses in the United States and Canada.

Thy Kingdom Come

This year London is holding one of the most exciting prayer events ever witnessed! A Year For London will see Christians from hundreds of churches across the capital unite in one of the biggest prayer relays ever witnessed.

Every single second of every minute of all 365 days of the year will be filled with prayer, with churches gathering their congregations to help them contribute 24 hours to the prayer relay.

Already by the end of January 44,640 minutes will have been fulfilled in the prayer relay.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

National motto obscured on new U.S. dollar coins

The new American dollar coins due out next month will have a bit of an edge to them -- for that's where some important info will be displayed.

A new series of U.S. dollar coins coming out in February will bear the images of deceased U.S. presidents, as well as the national motto, "In God We Trust." However, one very important design difference is that the motto will not appear on each coin's flat surface as always before, but on its thin edge (that is, along the side of the coin).

Read more of this story on One News Now.

International Youth Prayer Movement to Kick Off in New Zealand

An international youth prayer movement for the persecuted church, Shockwave, will kick off on 2 March in New Zealand, and will sweep across global time zones in the span of three days.

As a youth initiative of Open Doors, the prayers are expected to take place in chat rooms, prayer meetings, churches, homes and other venues in more than 20 countries around the world.

Open Doors is offering a host of resources for the sixth annual event to help students determine the best avenue for their prayer campaigns.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

Decision Maker

This is the way some people are about Jesus.

John 20:30-31 (NKJV)

30And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;
31but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

Christianity's Growth More than 'Counting Sheep'

More than a 100 mission leaders concluded a four-day gathering Saturday to discuss the growing concern of how to assess the growth and impact of Christianity given that confession of faith does not necessarily result in a transformed life.

The second annual Global Learning Center’s Symposium “Counting Sheep” at the Michigan-based Cornerstone University’s Grand Rapids Theological Seminary attracted mostly “hands-on” mission leaders from the Detroit to Chicago-land region Jan. 24-27.

Mission leaders gathered in attempt to figure out a new way to measure Christianity’s growth, to redefine old mission models, and to debate the effectiveness of short-term mission trips, among other topics.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Too Busy NOT To Pray

By Charles Stanley
Christian Post Contributor

Have you ever skipped your daily prayer time because you felt too busy? When we surrender quiet time for something else, we're making a statement about our priorities. It's a not-so-subtle way of saying, "Jesus, my calendar is more important to me than You are today. I'll catch up with You later."

We all do this from time to time. It's so easy to be pulled out of the prayer closet. We think we can "make up" the time later because God will always be there. We seem to have taken His eternal, indwelling presence for granted.

Read more of this devotion on The Christian Post.

Luke 5:15-16

However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

Abstinence Promoted for Valentine's Day

By Aleena Shakeel Correspondent - Concerned about the promotion of sex to youngsters, a conservative group is encouraging students to celebrate Valentine's Day this year with a "Day of Purity," marking a commitment to abstain from sex until marriage.

The Day of Purity is a project of the Liberty Counsel, a religious non-profit organization. Organizer Rena Lindevaldsen told Cybercast News Service the group decided to launch the event after being contacted by a mother in Michigan who said she was concerned about her children's school having a national "coming out" day for homosexual students.

Read more of this story on Cybercast News Service.

On The Soapbox

I received this animated site via e-mail. The presentation is called "On The Soapbox".

The Right Mentor

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Name

READ: Exodus 20:1-7

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. —Exodus 20:7

It’s not easy to keep up with the shorthand that accompanies today’s fast-paced, youth-oriented electronic communication. In IM-speak (Instant Message talk) or text-message language, “laughing out loud” becomes “lol.” “By the way” is “btw.” And regrettably, some people use “omg” for “Oh, my God!”

This last phrase seems to be on the lips of many who receive startling news. But as Christians, we need to stop before we utter this or any other phrase that flippantly uses God’s name.

In Matthew 6, when Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, the first thing He told them to say was this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (v.9). Clearly, God’s name itself is special. It encompasses His nature, His teachings, and His moral authority. To speak the name of God is to call on the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

In every way possible, we should honor and protect God’s holy name, preserving its use for those occasions when we are speaking of Him or addressing Him in faith.

Let’s be careful never to turn the hallowed name of our awesome and mighty God into just another flippant phrase on our lips or in a text message. Dave Branon

May all I am and do and say
Give glory to my Lord alway;
And may no act of mine cause shame
Nor bring reproach upon His name. —Anon.

God’s name: handle with care.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Basics Of Faith > God > Authority
Christian Life > Worship > God

Christians to Join Millions in Prayer for Peace of Jerusalem

The 5th annual International Day of Prayer and Solidarity with Israel this weekend expects millions of Christians and Jews to pray for peace in Israel.

War, terrorism, poverty, and peace with Israel’s neighbors will be the focus of this year’s day of prayer sponsored by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

“I think Israel is the apple of God’s eyes and the nation is built on covenant land that God has given to the Jewish people,” said Gary Bauer, president of the conservative American Values and former chief domestic policy advisor for President Ronald Reagan, at a recent gala honoring the former Israeli ambassador.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Recruiting Volunteers

Saturday, January 27, 2007

FIRST-PERSON: What are we to do about Islam?

By Mike Licona
Baptist Press

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--In the spring of 2006 1,000 British Muslims were polled. The results were alarming:

-- 28 percent wanted to see Great Britain become an Islamic state

-- 68 percent held that Brits who insult Islam should be arrested & prosecuted

-- 25 percent had either never heard of the Holocaust or contended it never happened

-- 45 percent held that 9/11 was a conspiracy between the U.S. & Israel (another 35 percent said "don't know")

The objective of many Muslims is to Islamicize the world. When a person or a country stands in the way of Islam's efforts, these regard it as a "war on Islam." This does not mean all Muslims hate Christians. For over a thousand years there have been many friendships between Muslims and Christians. However, Muslims who have befriended Christians have disregarded the Koran in the process, since it prohibits such friendships (Q 5:51). So what are Christians to do? I would like to suggest three initial responses by evangelicals to Islam.

Read more of this editorial of Baptist Press.

The Turkish Delight Syndrome

READ: Galatians 5:16-25

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. —Romans 13:14

In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Edmund was easily won over to the side of darkness by the wicked white witch. Her method was simple—she appealed to his love for rich, sweet food, as well as for status and revenge. The Turkish Delight she offered him was delicious, and it left him craving even more. So strong was its appeal that it led him to betray his brother and sisters.

The appetites of the world and the flesh are powerful and addictive tools of the devil. He appeals to our love for what satisfies our selfish and sinful desires and uses it to tempt, control, discourage, defeat, and destroy us. We crave power or money or food or alcohol or clothes or sex, even though we are in danger of sacrificing our friends, our loved ones, and even our relationship with our Savior to satisfy our desires.

How can we resist the temptations of Satan? Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). He also wrote, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Rom. 13:14). And John said, “Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15).

Put on the Lord and walk in the Spirit. That’s how to break the power of the Turkish Delight syndrome. David C. Egner

When temptation’s darts assail us,
When in devious paths we stray,
Let Your goodness never fail us,
Lead us in Your perfect way. —Hastings

God provides the armor to withstand temptation, but we must put it on.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Basics Of Faith > Sin > Temptation

Church Event Promises Porn, Pancakes

ONTARIO, N.Y. (AP) - It's not your typical church breakfast.

An event billed as "Porn and Pancakes" is being hosted by a church in rural upstate New York.

The breakfast discussion on the pornography industry in America is planned next month at the Living Word Assembly of God Church in the town of Ontario, in rural Wayne County about ten miles east of Rochester.

A billboard advertisement near the church shows the words "Porn and Pancakes" written in syrup on a stack of flapjacks.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Hold That Vision

Friday, January 26, 2007

Photojournalist Has Online Essay

Photojournalist Jarrett Baker has added an online photo essay about my ministry to his website. Some of the photos were featured in a photo essay for the Gainesville Sun on Sunday, August 27, 2006.

History behind the photo essay.

Cause and Affect

'God' References Removed from In-Flight Movie

ATLANTA (AP) - So much for God and country, at least during some in-flight showings of the Oscar-nominated movie "The Queen." That's because all mentions of God are bleeped out of a version of the film given to some commercial airlines.

Even in these politically correct times, censoring references to God in the film wasn't a statement of some kind. Rather, it was the mistake of an overzealous and inexperienced employee for a California company that edits movies selected for onboard entertainment.

The rookie censor was told to edit out all profanities _ including any blasphemy _ for the version of the movie distributed to Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, Air New Zealand, and other carriers.

So the new censor mistakenly bleeped out each time a character said "God," instead of just when used as part of a profanity, said Jeff Klein, president of Jaguar Distribution, the company that distributed the movie to airlines this month.

Read more of this story on The Christian Post.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tragic Accident Was One Year Ago

It was one year ago today that a tragic accident near Lake Butler, Florida captured attention around the world. Seven children were killed when a semi-truck smashed into a car carrying the children and then into a school bus on State Road 121 in Union County. I was scheduled to preach at my home church, First Baptist of Lake Butler, on that night. I totally changed my message upon hearing the news.

Let's remember to be in prayer for the family that lost loved ones and all of those impacted by the accident. That probably means praying for just about everyone in Union County and many in surrounding areas.

It's interesting that last night (Wednesday, January 24, 2007) I was once again at my home church. This particular Wednesday, however, was filled with laughter and smiles as I worked with our youth program, a much different scene than last year.

Below are some links that I posted on this site related to this event. I am offering these, not to reopen old wounds, but to show how far we've come in a year with the Lord's help.

Town's residents turn to churches for solace

Union County Tragedy

Hudson Interviewed For Podcast

Podcast Features Children's Pastor

Photo by Jarrett Baker was taken during the Wednesday night prayer meeting service at First Baptist Church of Lake Butler on 1/25/06.

Federal Appeals Court hears Texas Bible monument case

A U.S. federal appeals court is reexamining a case involving a Texas county's public display of a Bible on government property. An attorney the pro-family law firm Liberty Legal Institute says constitutional law favors the display of God's Word.

For 50 years, a monument containing a Bible has been outside the Harris County Courthouse in Houston. Last fall, however, a three-judge panel of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the monument unconstitutional, claiming it was a government establishment of religion. This week, the entire Fifth Circuit appeals court heard arguments in the case.

Read more of this story on One News Now.

Two Engagements Added To Schedule

I have added two new engagements to my preaching schedule.

  • Pine Grove Baptist Church in Lake City, Florida on Friday, February 9, 2007. I will be speaking during their youth Valentine banquet.
  • Middle Florida Baptist Association at the Middle Florida Baptist Assembly Campground (aka Pickett Lake) on Friday, March 2, 2007. I will be speaking during a service that is part of "Lads and Dads" Weekend.
For more information about my ministry schedule you can visit my website.

Podcast For Students Highlights International Missions

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--The International Mission Board has joined the world of podcasting with the launch of its “podTask,” taking students on missions adventures around the world.

With its weekly updates on iTunes and, the podTask is full of information for students to get involved with international missions by hearing about what others are doing around the world in proclaiming Jesus’ name.

Ricky Gibson, producer of the podTask, said the IMB’s student mobilization team aims “to stay on the cutting edge –- as much as a [nonprofit] can with limited budget, people and manpower –- and offer our audience a way of getting international student missions stories.

Students need to hear from other people their age about their experiences as God uses them, Gibson said, noting that podTask will seek to convey the message that God uses everyone, no matter what age, to fulfill the Great Commission.

Read more of this story on Baptist Press.

Global Day Of Prayer Scheduled In London

Christians from all over the world will gather together in London for the Global Day of Prayer 2007 in May. Thousands of Christians of all denominations are due to gather in East London to pray for the capital and its future.

"London is a world class city, it contains people from every nation of the world, many people around the world look at London as an iconic city," the Bishop of Barking, the Rt Rev David Hawkins, has said. "I couldn't imagine a better place to host the 2007 Global Day of Prayer.”

He went on to share that the Global Day of Prayer has reached over 400 million Christians worldwide, from 198 countries since its conception five years ago.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

Patch The Patch

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Online Self-Assessment Tool Launched

The Internet Evangelism Day (IE Day) team has recently launched an online self-assessment tool, as churches become increasingly concerned with how to communicate well to outsiders through their websites.

The tool leads churches through a series of questions, to highlight areas of their website which may need development.

Read more of this story on Christian Today.

European Churches Push for EU 'God Clause'

European church leaders have revived efforts to include a “God clause” in the EU constitution after Germany sought to reignite the current drafting process.

Leaders from Catholic and Protestant churches, particularly in Germany, are appealing to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to use Berlin’s six-month EU presidency to speak in favor of a reference to God in the EU constitution, Reuters reported.

Last year, Merkel expressed her support for the “God clause” following her visit in August to Pope Benedict XVI.

“[W]e need a European identity in the form of a constitutional treaty and I think it should be connected to Christianity and God, as Christianity has forged Europe in a decisive way," she said.

Read more of this story on The Gospel Herald.

View related post on this site.

Saving Ourselves

READ: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20

If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. —2 Timothy 2:11

Inside, music was playing. Outside, leaves were falling. Catching a gust of wind, one of the last leaves of autumn blew briefly upward as I heard the phrase, “He is risen!” By the end of the song, however, the leaf had reached the ground. Gravity had overcome the breeze.

Later, I overheard three middle-aged women discussing diets, exercise, face-lifts, and other age-defying efforts. Like the leaf, they were trying to keep gravity from pulling them toward the inevitable.

Their conversation reminds me of the good works people do to try to save themselves from spiritual death. But just as leaves cannot keep from falling and people cannot keep from aging, no one can work hard enough to avoid the consequences of sin, which is death (Rom. 6:23).

At the crucifixion, mockers challenged Jesus to save Himself. Instead, He put His life into the hands of God, and God gave back to Him not only His own life but ours as well. To receive salvation, we too must simply put our lives into the hands of God, for if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, He will give life to us as well (Rom. 8:11).

The forces of sin outside cannot defeat the life of Christ inside. Julie Ackerman Link

Thank You, Jesus, for Your willingness
to surrender to Your Father’s will.
For if You had chosen to save Yourself,
You could not have saved me. Amen.

Salvation isn’t turning over a new leaf; it’s receiving a new life.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Basics Of Faith > Jesus Christ > Savior

Fire Escape Tonight

I will be speaking during the youth service of First Baptist Church of Lake Butler tonight at 6:30pm. The service is held at the Fire Escape located at 102 SW 11th Street in Lake Butler, Florida. For more info call the church office at (386) 496-3704.

Are You Stale?

Zephaniah 1:12 (NKJV)
12 “And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men
Who are settled in complacency,
Who say in their heart,
‘The LORD will not do good,
Nor will He do evil.’

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Keepin' Up With The JCEA

I have four e-mail subscription services for my ministry:

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Enter your email address to be notified each time a new edition of the

Walking with the Giant podcast is released (monthly):

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ERITREA: 68 More Christians Arrested In New Clampdown

Government ministry officials jailed, conscripts’ Bibles burned.

LOS ANGELES, January 23 (Compass Direct News) – Police and military authorities in the East African nation of Eritrea jailed 68 more Christians in three official round-up operations conducted the first week of January.

The new arrests of both Protestant evangelicals and Orthodox renewal movement church members marked the Eritrean government’s widening crackdown against Christians whose faith and freedom to worship have been outlawed for nearly five years.

Read more of the story on Compass Direct News.

How Many Wrongs Make A Right?

It's interesting how and what we teach our children, isn't it?

Proverbs 22:6 (New King James Version)

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Soldier Receives Rude E-mail From Supplier

WTMJ Radio -- An Internet company based in West Allis is confirming that it sent an inflammatory email to a US soldier. The email has been making its rounds on the blogs. It was first reported on the website

Sergeant Jason Hess, who's currently stationed in Iraq, had emailed The company lists its contact information as an address in West Allis. Sergeant Hess inquired as to whether the company could send mats to an APO address, basically asking if the company can ship to soldiers in Iraq. The company emailed him back.

That email, which Sergeant Hess shared with Newsradio 620 WTMJ, said: "we do not ship to APO addresses, and even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq."

The following is a copy of the e-mail exchange:

From: SGT Jason Hess
Sent: Tue Jan 16 3:25

Do you ship to APO addresses? I'm in the 1st Cavalry Division stationed in Iraq and we are trying to order some mats but we are looking for who ships to APO first.

Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 9:44 PM
Subject: Re: Feedback: from

SGT Hess,
We do not ship to APO addresses, and even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq.

Bargain Suppliers

For more info on this story visit the following links:

The Watchman

Newsradio 620 WTMJ

Swine Before Pearls

Merkel: EU charter should have more on Christianity

Turkish Daily News -- Germany's conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, who launched plans last week to revive the European Union constitution as the now 27-nation bloc's term presidency, has renewed her criticism of the draft text for not referring to the importance of Christianity in Europe.

"I would have preferred a clearer acknowledgement of [Europe's] Christian roots," Merkel was quoted on Saturday as saying in a preview of an interview with German Focus magazine.

Read more of the story on Turkish Daily News.

What God Owes Us

READ: Colossians 1:9-14

Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him. —Colossians 1:10

A story is told about a vendor who sold bagels for 50 cents each at a street corner food stand. A jogger ran past and threw a couple of quarters into the bucket but didn’t take a bagel. He did the same thing every day for months. One day, as the jogger was passing by, the vendor stopped him. The jogger asked, “You probably want to know why I always put money in but never take a bagel, don’t you?” “No,” said the vendor. “I just wanted to tell you that the bagels have gone up to 60 cents.”

Too often, as believers, we treat God with that same kind of attitude. Not only are we ungrateful for what He’s given us—but we want more. Somehow we feel that God owes us good health, a comfortable life, material blessings. Of course, God doesn’t owe us anything, yet He gives us everything.

G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Here dies another day, during which I have had eyes, ears, hands, and the great world round me. And with tomorrow begins another. Why am I allowed two?” The psalmist said, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).

Each day, whether good or bad, is one more gift from our God. Our grateful response should be to live to please Him. Cindy Hess Kasper

Living for Jesus a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me. —Chisholm

Life is a gift from God to be lived for God.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Relationships > Relating to God > Growth/Sanctification

Environmental Stewardship Subject of Presentation

I was one of the speakers Friday at the GFWC Women's Club District 4 meeting held in Macclenny, Florida. Mary Finley, Conversation Chair for the Macclenny club asked me to speak on the subject of conservation. I updated the crowd of over 80 ladies from the district on recycling, solid waste management, Bioreactor landfill research and a Biblical perspective of our personal responsibilities to the planet.

The photo was taken by Joe Tetreault of C&JPhotos Digital Imaging.

Drawing The Line

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Memorial To The Missing

Jan 19, 2007
By Gregory Tomlin
Baptist Press

JACKSON, Miss. (BP)--Alone, the penny is the least of U.S. currency. Few things, if any, can be bought with it. The U.S. government has proposed no longer producing it, feeling it insignificant and often unused.

But Baptists all over the state of Mississippi now pay attention to pennies even on the sidewalk or in a parking lot, knowing that each one has value.

Read more of this story on Baptist Press.

Choosing life is the right choice

By Will Hall
Baptist Press

Today, Sunday, January 21, 2007, is Sanctity of Life Sunday in the Southern Baptist Convention. I thought the following editorial from Baptist Press was appropriate for today.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Take a good look at Jacob Barker Hall. Whether in person or by photo it's hard not to see his bright eyes and engaging smile and not know the joy and the zest that define this 9-year-old's life. His speech and his physical awkwardness give glimpses of his Down Syndrome, but any signs of motor or mental difficulty are overshadowed by the special person he is as a child of God.

Jacob is a great name for my youngest son. Roughly translated into "supplanter," a more practical definition for his personality would be "steals the show," but not in a bad way. He showers others with love and encouragement, likely to say "good job" loudly to the choir or the pastor (along with a visible "thumbs up") -- without concern for when he says it during the service (I finally figured out it's his way of saying "amen").

Read more of this editorial on Baptist Press.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ministry seeks to change minds in abortion debate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--It often is said that when it comes to the debate over abortion, minds rarely are changed. A pro-life Christian ministry hopes to transform that line of thought.

Stand to Reason, a California-based educational ministry, believes people who hold the pro-choice position can be converted to the pro-life cause, provided they are presented with a reasonable, persuasive argument. That's the goal of Stand to Reason's "Making Abortion Unthinkable: The Art of Pro-Life Persuasion" curriculum -- teaching pro-lifers how best to persuade people to oppose abortion. By doing that, the ministry says, lives will be saved.

Read more of the story on Baptist Press.

Archie Manning helps husband fulfill deceased wife's wish

Monday, Jan 15, 2007
By Brian Blackwell

GREENVILLE, Miss. (BP)–-The Manning family -– dubbed “the first family of college football” by some sports experts -– always has been special to Mark Kelly.

A native Mississippian and longtime fan of the Ole Miss Rebels -– where Archie and son Eli became two of the school’s most famous record-setting quarterbacks -– the love of the Mannings is in Kelly’s sports DNA.

“I guess my relationship with the Manning family began the same way any other person’s in the Mississippi Delta did -– I was born,” Kelly, youth minister at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Greenville, Miss., told Baptist Press.

Read more of the story on BP Sports.

Forever Perfect

By one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. —Hebrews 10:14

When I first heard of Sara Lee cakes, the name-brand caught my attention because one of the most common Asian family names is “Lee.” Being a Chinese Lee myself, I wondered if Sara was Chinese or Korean.

Then I learned that Charlie Lubin, an American bakery entrepreneur, had named his cheesecakes after his daughter Sara Lee. Sara said her father wanted this product to be “perfect because he was naming it after me.”

Perfection is a standard that none of us could ever hope to attain. Yet we learn from Hebrews that Jesus, through His one supreme sacrifice for our sins, “has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (10:14).

The continual sacrifices made by the priests since the time of Moses could never change anyone’s sinful standing before God (Heb. 10:1-4). But the one-time sacrifice of Christ on the cross—the sinless One dying for the sinful—perfected us forever in the eyes of God. Jesus’ once-for-all payment for our sins was sufficient. The writer to the Hebrews paraphrased Jeremiah 31:34, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Heb. 10:17).

We are perfected forever to stand before God because of the perfect work accomplished by Jesus on the cross. This is the assurance of our salvation. Albert Lee

We’re far from perfection, yet perfect forever,
For Christ is our righteousness, Lord, and our Savior;
No justification for sin can we offer,
Yet sanctified fully, we’re now His forever. —Lee

God is the perfect Judge, and He can declare the guilty perfect.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Basics Of Faith > Jesus Christ > Death/Cross

Perspectives: Films to Look For in 2007

One News Now By Dr. Marc Newman - It's that time of year again. While other critics rummage through their pile of spent films from 2006 trying to determine which movies will make their "Top Ten" lists, MovieMinistry chooses instead to look ahead at 2007 to see what films might create interesting opportunities for ministry and spiritual discussion.

Read more of the story on One News Now.

Comprehensive Protection

Friday, January 19, 2007

Lake Forest Baptist in Gainesville Sunday

I will be preaching this Sunday morning at Lake Forest Baptist Church in Gainesville, Florida. It will begin with a men's breakfast at 9am. I will be preaching during the 11am morning worship service.

Lake Forest Baptist Church is located at 5121 East University Avenue in Gainesville, Florida. Please be in prayer for this service and for the church, as they are searching for a pastor.

Eating Disorder

Thursday, January 18, 2007

3,000 Christians added daily in China

Most Christians are afraid to share Jesus with others because they fear rejection or being put on the spot about their faith. Many Christians do not attend church regularly because it doesn't fit their schedule. What if it could cost your freedom or could bring physical harm to share Christ or attend a worship service? That is the case in China, and yet reports say the services and the sharing continues. Please read this story and then ask yourself this question, "How much do I really love Jesus?"

Do you love Him enough to share Him with others or regularly give your time to worship Him?

World Net Daily -Worship services are being broken up by baton-wielding police officers, participants arrested, Bibles confiscated and Christian church buildings demolished. But still, an estimated 3,000 people every day come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ in China.

The report comes from Voice of the Martyrs, a U.S.-based Christian group that works specifically to help those members of the persecuted Christian church worldwide.

The most recent arrests happened just a few days ago, when a house church meeting in Henan province was broken up and 11 people arrested, the organization said.

Read more of the story on World Net Daily.

Where Do Babies Come From?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lake Butler Youth Service Tonight

I will be speaking during the youth service of First Baptist Church of Lake Butler tonight at 6:30pm. The service is held at the Fire Escape located at 102 SW 11th Street in Lake Butler, Florida. For more info call the church office at (386) 496-3704.

Which Way?

READ: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. —1 Corinthians 1:18

Every night, Howard and Mel frequented the cheap bars in Grand Rapids, Michigan, hoping to drown away another miserable day. Finally, the pain of a wasted life was too much, so Mel hopped a train for Chicago, where he hoped to end it all.

But as he walked barefoot through a Chicago snowstorm in 1897, heading for a self-imposed demise in Lake Michigan, he was stopped by a worker from the Pacific Garden Mission. Mel went inside, heard the gospel, and accepted Christ as his Savior.

Later, Mel went back to Grand Rapids to start a mission. Howard heard that he was saved and sober. But instead of trusting Jesus, Howard just laughed at “Old Mel.” To him, “the message of the cross [was] foolishness” (1 Cor. 1:18). Finally, the drinking took its toll on Howard, and he committed suicide.

More than 100 years later, the Mel Trotter Mission still welcomes people who need a place to stay and who need Jesus. And 100 years later, our family is still saddened by Howard’s demise. He was my wife’s grandfather.

Like Mel and Howard, we have a choice. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). What do you choose? Dave Branon

Which way will you take? The question is clear—
The choice you must make with a heart sincere;
To Jesus the Lord you now are inclined—
Today is the day to make up your mind. —Hess

To choose Christ now is a choice for eternity.

For similar resources, search these topics:

Basics Of Faith > Salvation > Eternal Life

Lawsuit Over Use of Non-Christian Texts for Swearing Oaths

RALEIGH, North Carolina — A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and a Muslim woman over the use of the Koran and other non-Christian texts for state courtroom oaths should be allowed to go forward, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Read more on Fox News and find additional info about the story on World Net Daily.


cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

XXX Domain Being Considered For Porn

WASHINGTON (BP)--Efforts to create a .xxx domain name for pornographic websites have resumed, and conservative leaders are urging citizens to speak out against the proposal while the agency in charge is taking public comments through Feb. 5.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a private agency that oversees Internet operation, rejected a similar proposal last May but is revisiting the matter after adding stronger provisions to prohibit child pornography and to require labeling of sites with sexually explicit materials.

Read more on Baptist Press or One News Now.

Screen Saver

Federal Court Reverses Case On Cross

The original lawsuit that placed San Diego's Mt. Soledad Cross in jeopardy of being removed is now over, after the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling last week that vacated a district court's order to take it down.

Read more on One News Now.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Who Are We?

If you would like to financially contribute to this ministry you may follow the links below:

Interesting Thoughts About Jesus

Here are a few points to ponder about Jesus Christ:

  • He had no servants, yet they called Him Master.
  • He had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.
  • He had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.
  • He had no army, yet kings feared Him.
  • He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.
  • He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
  • He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

What Do Teachers Make?

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?" He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make? Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ student know that he can be an A+ with a little help and effort. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an iPod, Game Cube or movie rental... You want to know what I make?", she paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.

"I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them criticize. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions. I teach them to write and then I make them write. I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in math. I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity. I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe. I make my students stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, because we live in the United States of America. Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life. I make kids see an adult worthy of respect. I make kids see that they can make a difference in the world.

"I make them so excited about learning that years later they'll come back to visit me just to tell me how they've done. I make them realize that those who can't teach are forced to find less rewarding forms of work."

She paused one last time and then continued, "Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant...

You want to know what I make?

I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make?"

It's What You Know

What do YOU know about JESUS?

Monday, January 15, 2007

MLK Day Of Service

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and service. The theme for this year is "A day on, not a day off". For more information visit these sites:

MLK Day of Service

MLK Day on the Net

The King Center

About Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let Freedom Ring

READ: Isaiah 58:1-10

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, . . . to let the oppressed go free? —Isaiah 58:6

In 1963, during a peaceful march on Washington, DC, Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech. He eloquently called for freedom to ring from every mountaintop across the nation. The cost to him personally and to those who joined his peaceful resistance movement was steep, but real change soon began. God used that speech to awaken the conscience of the US to fight for the freedom of the oppressed and downtrodden.

In the 8th century BC, amid personal and national injustice, the prophet Isaiah was used by God to awaken the conscience of His people. Their convenient spirituality had led them to violence and insensitivity toward their fellow humans. God’s people were oppressing the poor and substituting religious practices for genuine righteous living (vv.1-5). God indicted them (v.1) and prescribed spiritual living that would be expressed through turning to God in genuine repentance and setting people free (vv.6-12).

Like Isaiah, we have been sent to let freedom ring. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we must proclaim that the captives can be released, that the downtrodden can be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come. Marvin Williams

I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me:
Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see,
Opens prison doors, sets the captives free;
I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me. —Casebolt

No righteousness, no freedom!

For similar resources, search these topics:

Relationships > Relating to others > Love For