*From the States (pgs. 5-8)
* I Need Your Help to Finish Well (pg. 1)
Editor -I knew I’d have to write this article some day, but that “some day” has come sooner than I ever imagined — even though it has been 40 years in the making. The bottom line is this — next year, at the 2020 BMA of Arkansas meeting (after working at the Trumpet since Jan. 2, 1980 and serving as your editor since Nov. 5, 2005) I will be retiring as editor/business manager of the Baptist Trumpet.My original plan was to announce the retirement to all of you at the end of January, but I’m going to need your help sooner rather than later (see Finish Well below), so I decided to announce it now.To be honest, if I had my “druthers” (as my Mammaw used to say), I’d keep being your editor until my dying day because I love it (and all of you!) so very much. But that’s not what is best for the Trumpet, and it’s not what is best for my husband, Pat.
* Hundreds Gather in Branson (pg. 1)
Hundreds of senior adult BMA Baptists from across America gathered for three days of worship, entertainment and fun at the 2019 edition of the BMA National Senior Adult Conference. The site for the event was the Branson Convention Center in Branson, Mo. Greg Medenwald (pastor of Magnolia Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Miss.) brought three inspiring messages, and David Attebery (director of Celebrate Recovery at Northwest Bible Church in Rogers, Ark.) and Neil Dumas (worship pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Texas) led in worship. Attendees also enjoyed a concert by the Gold City Quartet, a comedy set from Dennis Swanburg and attended the Haygood Family Music Show.
* Watch Out For Prowling Scam Artists (pg. 1)
As the most popular shopping days of the year are upon Arkansans, scam artists are proactively searching for opportunities to steal your identity, money and personal information. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has identified best practices that will be rolled out throughout the week for consumers that can be used during the entire holiday season. “Every Christmas season, many Arkansans experience some form of fraud from a con artist or bad actor who tries to steal your personal identity, bank account or credit card information, or who fails to uphold the terms of a sales agreement,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday often have us plugging in credit and debit card numbers online where predatory scam artists could be lurking, waiting for an opportunity to steal your money.”
* Homecoming Jan. 31-Feb. 1 (pg. 2)
Terry Kimbrow – Central Baptist College will host Homecoming activities on Jan. 31 and February 1, 2020. The following activities are planned: This year’s events will begin on Friday with our annual Stampede Open House. This event is held for prospective students beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the Story Library. Students interested in CBC should consider attending this event to learn more about scholarships, financial aid, the admissions process and much more. Learn more and register to attend at cbc.edu/stampede. This year CBC will be honoring the 1968-1970 classes at our Half Century Club Induction. Activities include a special dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. If you are part of these classes, we will be sending more information on how to RSVP. We will also be sending information on some of our missing classmates, so be watching your mailbox for more details. (Also see CBC Sports, pg. 2)
Avoiding Overindulging During the Holidays (pg. 2)
Dan Carson – The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is full of land mines for those of us interested in watching what we eat. There are youth group parties, Sunday School parties, work parties, holiday meals and more. All of them are full of sugar-filled goodness. If you have the will power to consistently turn down Oreo balls and Christmas cookies, you are a better person than I am. This Christmas, my wife and I have the added challenge of trying to eat like our daughter to support her while she works through some medical issues. You may not be watching what you eat, but it is still very easy to overindulge during the season.
We Need Each Other (pg. 3)
Tom Mitchell – I was just thinking of how, in this modern era, we take so much for granted. For instance, when we get up each morning, we expect the electricity to be on in our homes. We just assume it will always be available. We also take for granted our technology items (computers, smart phones, GPS) — we expect them to perform exactly when we need them. However, as all of us know, from time-to-time they fail to meet our expectations. But we still want them, and we truly depend on them! I think that many take for granted the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas. Over the years, we have gotten accustomed to knowing we have departments and departmental leaders who carry out their responsibilities. As a result, we fail to pray for them, encourage them and, much too often, to support them. We may even conclude that they don’t need us. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Relationship Matters (pg. 3)
Larry Barker – Your church is meant to be a place where you build meaningful relationships that enable you to walk with your church family in mutual accountability. The local church is the place God intends for His children to be close enough to one another that you can ask the hard questions such as, “Is there any sin you are struggling with right now?” Mark Batterson has written, “Love is not approving of everything I do. Love is not agreeing with everything I think. Love = Grace + Truth. Grace means I’ll never give up on you. Truth means I’ll always be honest with you.” Here are three vital relationships necessary for spiritual vitality and for the local church to function correctly:
Free to Pastors (pg. 4)
Editor – As our way of saying “thank you” for all our pastors do for our Lord and the Baptist Missionary Association, we’re offering them the electronic version of the Baptist Trumpet free for three months — starting with this week’s issue. Each week on Tuesday evening (except for the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, when we don’t publish), they’ll receive an email (through Constant Contact) that will include a PDF of that week’s eTrumpet issue, plus our interactive version. This version will allows them to touch the article they want to read, and it will appear in text format to fit their cell phone, tablet or computer screen. It will also allow them to see photos full size. Also included in each week’s email will be access to the last three months of Baptist Trumpets (before they go into our archives) and a link to our regular Trumpet Archives (back to 1939). If you’re a pastor, and did not receive this offer by email, just visit our website at baptisttrumpet.com and click on the Christmas Gift rotating banner ad to sign up.
Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)
School Board Objects To FCA’s Views on Marriage; Canadian Officials Pledge to Expand Euthanasia; Half of Pastors See Opioid Abuse at Church; DOJ Defends Christian School in Court; Chick-fil-A Announces New Approach to Giving
Is Your Minister’s Housing Allowance Calculation Accurate? (pg. 9)
Dr. Steve Crawley, Ministers’ Resource Services -One of the greatest benefits afforded to ministers from the Internal Revenue Service is the Minister Housing Allowance. Yet sometimes there is confusion surrounding the calculation and administration of the benefit. I’d encourage you to take a few minutes this month and “audit” your housing allowance provision to ensure you are taking full advantage of the benefit while staying in compliance with the law. (Remember, the BMA America 403(b)(9) plan has a built-in provision for retired ministers as well.)
Spotlight on Missions (pg. 9)
Doug & Diane Lee • Philippines
2020 BMMI Schedule (pg. 9)
Dr. Ralph Izard – The following list of Baptist Medical Missions International (BMMI) trips shows the dates of the trips planned, the mission field and the missionaries with whom the group will be working. All information is subject to change:Jan. 18-25, El Salvador, Rigoberto Jimenez; Feb. 29-March 7, Honduras, Denis Lopez; May?, Ukraine, Larry Wood; June 15-22, Romania, Daniel Bagosi and Bryan Risner; August?, Peru, Paul Tinoco; Oct. 1-10, Thailand, Brandon Lingle and Siripong (Jo) Yaebeang; Nov. 29-Dec. 8, Zambia (Full), Joshus PhiriPlease pray for open doors in India. Other trips in the future include Armenia, Moldova, Cambodia, Jordan, Mexico, Philippines, Angola, Argentina, Laos, Burma and others. Check with Angela Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com for more information on any scheduled trips or to let us know if you would like to be part of any of the BMMI teams.
Share The Vision (pg. 9)
Jackie Ricks – The 2020 National WMA Women’s Conference will expand on last year’s theme of Catch the Vision. This year we will learn to Share the Vision. The key verses of the theme come from Acts 26:19-20. The meeting will take place at Heritage Baptist Church in Waxahachie, Texas on April 28. The keynote speaker for the event will be Sabrina Clayton, a talented vocalist and inspirational speaker from Fulton, Miss. Valarie Fish, vocalist, writer, speaker and encourager from Emerson, Ark. will bring the special music. The conference will include four choices of breakout sessions to attend:
Your Best Christmas Gift? (pg. 10)
Dr. Glenn Mollette -The average American will spend $920 on Christmas gifts this year, reaching a total of more than $1 trillion in holiday spending. Only 8% said they would spend nothing, and 3% said they were unsure. But 29% expected their gift spending to be between $100 and $499, according to stats from Investopedia. In 2001, the average American planned to spend $1,052 — the highest ever. Following the financial crash in 2008, planned holiday shopping dropped to $417 in 2009 — less than half of what people planned to spend in 2018 according to the National Retail Federation.
Prepare Your Buildings For Winter’s Chill (pg. 10)
Winter weather can be rough on buildings — snow and ice weigh down roofs, cold temperatures freeze pipes, and overworked heaters can spark fires. Nationally, winter storms cause about $1.5 billion a year in insured losses. Churches, schools and other ministries can reduce the potential for damage by clearing heavy snow from roofs, keeping pipes warm and addressing early signs of furnace problems. “A little maintenance goes a long way in preventing cold-weather losses, or at least reducing their severity,” says Tom Lichtenberger, assistant vice president of property claims for Brotherhood Mutual. There’s plenty you and your maintenance team can do. Let’s look at three key areas: roofs, pipes and heating systems:
Getting a Grip on our Emotions (pg. 11)
Paul White – Passion (Part 4 of 4) Keep a true perspective and keep it small. Think before you act. A fleeting moment of sensual pleasure is not worth it. The writer of Hebrew tells us, “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,” (Heb.11:25). Don’t allow your mind to focus on things that lead to spiritual defeat. What I mean here is brooding about another’s financial success or how you have been shortchanged in life or how you have been wronged — just get over it. These things can only fan the flames of envy and jealously which, in turn, can lead to a manifestation of this distorted emotion known as passion. Paul writes: “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Phil. 4:11).
Come to the Table (pg. 11)
Valarie Fish – The smells of Sunday dinner meet you at the door. Mom would have put a roast in the crockpot before church with carrots and potatoes. While we changed out of our Sunday clothes and set the table, mom would fix green beans and warm up the rolls. And on any given Sunday, someone would have followed us home to join us for lunch. That’s just the way things were back then. Families gathered around the table on a regular basis. Sometimes we were the hosts, and sometimes we were the ones following someone home to share their roast and potatoes. We learned how to behave around adults we weren’t kin to at these Sunday dinners. We saw how other people lived, and what their home life was like. Mom and dad would decide if this would be a positive environment for us to visit without them sometime in the future. You learn all kinds of things about people when you sit down to a meal with them.
Mt. Vernon YIH Meets (pg. 12)
The Mt Vernon Youth in the Harvest met with Rondo Baptist Church on Monday, Nov. 18, with 10 churches represented by a total of 107 present. Our program was special singing; a devotional about Thanksgiving presented by Farrell Eoff, pastor of Rondo Baptist Church; and a time of sharing what we are thankful for. The attendance banner was presented to Grace at Wynne, and the percentage banner was presented to Fourth Street at West Helena. The $286 offering will go to the Noah Norwood Family. We will meet at County Line at Marvell on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. (Babs Belew, reporter)