Current News – 10-30-2019

*BMA of Arkansas Meets Nov. 7-8 (pg. 1)

President Wade Allen -I hope you are making plans to attend the 70th annual session of the BMA of Arkansas next week at Central Baptist College in Conway. I want to thank all of our department directors, state officers and especially the support staff at CBC for all the hard work that has been done to prepare for this meeting. We are looking forward to great times of fellowship, worship, the preaching of God’s Word and times of equipping for the work of ministry.  This year’s theme is focused on the grace of God which is at work both in and through us, specifically during times of pain and suffering. Each of our breakout sessions Thursday will be focused on the impact of God’s grace in specific areas of ministry.

*Pastoral Health: The Duty of the Church (pg. 1)

J.D. Greear (via Baptist Press) — This may be a news flash to some of you, but your pastor is not flawless. Like you, he goes through seasons of suffering, insecurity, fatigue, and doubt. He often feels alone. He may even be on the cusp of burnout — or worse. People hurt, and that means that pastors hurt. But too often, pastors hurt alone. With October being Pastor Appreciation Month, I thought I would offer some insight on how churches can care for their pastors.

*A Successful Deacon Ministry (pg. 1)

Dr. Allen Tilley (via Baptist Progress) -After growing exponentially, the early church hit a brick wall in Acts 6:1-7. People were still being added to the church, but some felt neglected. Grumbling ensued and sides were taken. Averting disaster, the apostles overcame the first major crisis in the fledgling church by establishing the office of deacons — godly men who served the needs of those in the church. Over the years, I’ve been blessed with deacons who selflessly and joyfully served our people and me. While every church is different, here is how the deacons in my church are making a difference in the life of our church. Because of their sacrificial service, they free me to do what God has called me to do: preach and teach.

*You are Invited! (pg. 2)

President Terry Kimbrow – Central Baptist College will once again host an appreciation breakfast for anyone attending the BMA of Arkansas Annual Session. Please join us as we demonstrate our appreciation to you! The Ministry Appreciation Breakfast will be held on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 a.m. in the Mabee Student Services Complex. To register for this free breakfast, please contact Duffy Guyton, Director of Church Relations; dguyton@cbc.edu or (501) 269-6784. We appreciate your RSVP as it allows for the preparation of food and seating. (Also see CBC Sports, pg. 2)

Arkansas is Among “Blacklisted” States (pg. 1)

“Beginning next year, employees in San Francisco, Calif. will be forbidden to take work trips or do business with companies in 22 states that have ‘restrictive abortion laws’,” said Leah MarieAnn Klett in an Oct. 22 Christian Post report. “Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Vallie Brown announced the measure last week, explaining that the city must “fight back” as “women’s reproductive rights are threatened.” Because of our “severe anti-choice policies,” Arkansas is included in the ban, which will go into effect on Jan. 1. Restrictive abortion laws are defined as those that “restrict abortion before viability of the fetus to live outside of the womb.” The targeted states are those that ban abortion after 13 and 24 weeks. On social media, the announcement received backlash from conservatives and ministry leaders. (christianpost.com)

God Still Calls Young Men (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – This past Sunday, I had the privilege of being at First Baptist Church of Cave Springs to hear Weston Stewart’s first sermon. Weston is a 13-year-old young man that I met through church camp several years ago, and I have seen him grow in maturity and his faith. For those that know him, seeing Weston surrender to the preaching ministry was not a great surprise. That is often the case. When young men surrender to the preaching ministry, we are rarely surprised because we have seen God working in their lives.

The Rise of the Nones (pg. 3)

Larry Barker -Pew Research has recently reported some pretty alarming trends about the status of Christianity here in the United States. Since 2009 the number of people describing themselves as Christians has decreased from 77% to 65%. The Religion News Service says, “The United States is steadily becoming less Christian and the number of people with no religion is rising. These are the twin headlines from the latest Pew Research report… which shows a dramatic decline in American religious habits over the course of a decade.”

The Courage to Take the Blame (pg. 3)

Martha Brock – Do you know anyone who has an acrimonious personality? If you do, chances are you try to keep a safe distance. The meaning? Dangerous? No. An acrimonious person is simply an unpleasant person. Webster defines the word as “bitter, caustic.” But if your acquaintance is unpleasant on the outside, just think what they are on the inside. I am thinking of a fellow named Uzziah. He made his outside circumstances unhappy because he was so miserable on the inside. It all started when, as a young man, he obeyed the command of his king. The king was Herod, and he had commanded his soldiers to kill all the little boys, two years old and under, in Bethlehem. “Well, it wasn’t my fault,” alibied Uzziah. He had simply been a good soldier, following orders. He wasn’t paid to think, to feel. His job was to act when the big boys gave the word.

Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)

PP Offers Abortions at New Facility in Little Rock; Miss. University Holds “Drag Queen” Event; Religious Liberty Cases Reach Supreme Court; Father Fights To Save Son; Biological Male Sets Women’s Cycling Record

Spotlight on Missions (pg. 4)

Tommy & Sara Rose, Mexico

Who’s at the Door? (pg. 5)

Valarie Fish – How long has that been there? The building or the sign you pass every day but seldom notice. You know what I am talking about. Something that has been right there under your nose, and you haven’t even noticed. I recently began a study that touched the subject of covenant. I read a few commentaries here and there, looked up some companion verses, learned some things about covenant and something happened — passages once familiar carried a new meaning when I looked at them through eyes of covenant! I started seeing covenant everywhere! I may have to write a book or something because there is just too much to grasp in 500 words or less. 

Cheatham, BMA Minister, Dies (pg. 5)

Clarence James “C. J.” Cheatham, 92 of Texarkana, passed away Oct. 25. He was a retired accountant with Tosco Corporation and an ordained minister. Bro. Cheatham served in churches in Magnolia, El Dorado and the surrounding area, including New Hope at Junction City and Victory at Magnolia. He was also a veteran of the United States Navy, having served his country during World War II. He is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Eva Lena Cheatham of Texarkana; a son, Kevin (Teresa) Cheatham of Texarkana; and two daughters, Tina Cheatham of Texarkana and Marcy (James) Emerson of Cold Springs, Ky.; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held Oct. 28 at Central Baptist Church with David Watkins and Phillip Dunn officiating. Interment was at Stephens Cemetery in Stephens, under the direction of Texarkana Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Central Baptist Church 2117 E, 35th,  Texarkana, Ark. 71854.

Mrs. Bradley Passes Away (pg. 5)

Bobbye Sue Bradley, 89, died Oct. 24 at The Meadows in Fulton, Miss. She was a member of Bethel Baptist Church in Fulton. Mrs. Bradley was the widow of BMA Minister Merle D. Bradley. She was also an outstanding pianist and enjoyed sharing her gift of playing the piano and singing with everyone, especially her family. Survivors include two sons: Rick P. (Carol) Bradley of Conway, Ark. and Jay C. (Joyce) Bradley of Indianola, Miss.; seven grandchildren (including BMA Missionary Dawn Freeman of the Philippines; and Lindsay Lindsey, wife of Mississippi Baptist Children’s Home Director Dwight Lindsey); and nine great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held Oct. 27 at Bethel Baptist Church with Dr. Kevin Clayton officiating. Rick Bradley delivered the eulogy. Interment was at Tupelo Memorial Park under the direction of McNeece-Morris Funeral Home in Fulton, Miss.

Christian, Feel Free to Love Politics (pg. 6)

Doug Richey • Baptist Press • Guest Editorial (Part 2) – I Love Politics Because I Love Service: Extensive biblical evidence supports the ethic of service. Our love for service should be informed by this evidence. I’m sensitive to the obligation to serve my family, congregation, and neighbors. We should all strive, by God’s gracious providence, to fulfill this obligation with an active awareness of the spheres present in our lives. Proper prioritization is paramount; but none-the-less, we should steward our gifts and abilities as opportunities present themselves in each sphere.

Why Churches Are Unfriendly and Cliquish (pg. 6)

Joe McKeever (via Mississippi Baptist – (Lev. 19:33-34) – I stood before the congregation holding two letters in my hands, and this is what I said: Both of these letters came to my office this week, and I thought you’d like to hear what they say. The first letter is from a member who moved several hundred miles away last year. She is missing this church, and she wrote, “The churches here are not friendly like our church back home. No one speaks to visitors. I miss our loving, friendly congregation.”I asked the congregation, “Do we have a friendly church?” Heads nodded all over the building. “Well, then, listen to this,” I continued.“Dear Pastor: we visited your church last Sunday, and not a single person spoke to us. You have a most unfriendly congregation. We will not be back.”

Lifeword Says “Thanks And Remember” (pg. 7)

Lauren Crawley -I want to say a special thank you to all of our churches that have set aside time to celebrate how the Lord is using Lifeword to reach the world. We realize that a Lifeword Sunday celebration looks different for each church. Some celebrate by participating in a traditional Walk for the World, while others celebrate with a catfish fry and bake auction. Whatever your church made the time and effort to do, thank you! Our Lifeword team around the world is thankful for your prayers, support and passion to share The Story with the world. For your pastor’s chance at winning a set of his and her Apple watches, make sure your contributions are sent in by Dec. 9 to Lifeword, P.O. Box 6, Conway, Ark. 72033. Please have your contributions clearly marked “Lifeword Sunday” or “Walk.” This year’s winner will be announced on Facebook Live on Dec. 11! More details will be sent to each Team Lifeword leader as the day approaches. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have at lauren@lifeword.org or (501) 205-1127.

Getting a Grip on our Emotions

Paul White (Part 4 of 4) — In God’s way and His timing, His will shall be accomplished. It was God’s will for Joseph to become vice-Pharaoh and to eventually save his family (God’s chosen people). “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; (but) God meant it for my good, to bring to pass as (it is) this day, to save much people alive” (Gen. 5:20). He was sent to Egypt to ultimately save the Hebrew race. Our adversities today are to prepare us to minister to people because through them we become better prepared to witness. So, we can be happy and content by learning to wait upon God and to be busy. Through all of Joseph’s life, we find two final encouraging truths:

Scroggins Will Be on Furlough (pg. 8)

Stan Scroggins – We will be home from the Philippines on furlough from March to July 2020. While we know there will be no way to visit all the churches, we would like to invite everyone to check with us if you would like a missionary visit and report at your church, VBS, association or other events. We will be based in three locations: Jacksonville, Texas (March 23-May 8); Columbia, Mo. (May 14-June 1) and Huntsville, Ala. (June 3-June 25). I can be reached at stanmusical@icloud.com. My Philippine phone number is +63 908 894 6723, and I will have a US number once we get home. I can also be contacted through Facebook Messenger. (Stan & Donna Scroggins)

Mt. Vernon YIH Meets (pg. 8)

The Mt Vernon District Youth in the Harvest met with Grace Baptist Church at Wynne on Oct. 21, with 79 present, representing 8 churches. The program was Monday Night Football with Bible Trivia. The attendance banner went to Fourth Street at West Helena, and the percentage banner went to Rondo Baptist Church. The $283 offering will be given to Lifeword. The November meeting will be at Rondo at Lexa. We would like to see churches in our association that have not been coming to come back and fellowship with us. (Barbara Belew, reporter)

Assistant Editor

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