*From the States (pgs. 5-9)
*Church Survey Deadline is March 31 (pg. 1)
John Meriweather – A key service we provide our BMA family is information on our churches and all the ministries of the BMA. Keeping our information records accurate helps us connect, communicate and understand the impact BMA churches are making through their local communities with the gospel. I am personally asking for your help to ensure we have the most current and accurate information on your church. We are asking for your church to validate their church information for our Annual Church Directory, which will be published this summer. To make this process as easy as possible we have provided multiple ways to validate your information: Login to update your church information at bmaamerica.org/church-survey; Fill out the form online at bmaamerica.org/onlinechurchform; Request a pre-populated survey by contacting Tasha Waites at (501) 358-3860 or email@example.com; Update the pre-populated survey you received in the mail and mail back to us at BMA America, P.O. Box 1188, Conway, Ark. 72033.
*The Vision (pg. 1)
Tom Mitchell – I was just thinking — our BMA of Arkansas is 70 years old. Many who cast the vision, blazed the trail and set the examples for us have already received their heavenly promotions. In each instance, someone came behind them, took up the mantles of leadership, dedication and fervor. Why? Because they caught the vision! The Bible informs us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” (Prov. 29:18). The phrase “no vision” in the Hebrew means, “no redeeming revelation.” I believe our trailblazing predecessors had a redeeming vision from the Holy Spirit that a united effort by churches coming together to carry out the Great Commission was a good thing. The term “perish” in Hebrew has several synonyms. It can mean to loosen. It referred to a woman’s headband being loosened by the wind, resulting in her hair being blown one way and then another. It also meant that something was “set at nought.” In other words, it was useless.
*Southeastern & BMA Seminary Recognized by Intelligent.com (pg. 1)
Intelligent.com, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, has announced the Top 60 Online Bible Colleges for 2020, including Southeastern Baptist College in Laurel, Miss. and BMA Seminary in Jacksonville, Texas. In addition, Intelligent.com also lists BMA Seminary as “Most Affordable Master’s Degree” and Southeastern Baptist College as “Best Two-Year University.” The comprehensive research guide is based on an assessment of 201 accredited colleges and universities in the nation. Each program is evaluated based on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation and post-graduate employment.
*Don’t forget to register for Homecoming 2020 events! (pg. 2)
Terry Kimbrow – You can see a full schedule with details and register to attend at cbc.edu/homecoming. You can also contact Jessica Faulkner, Director of Alumni Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 205-8800 for more information. Please note that registration is required for all events, including free events, so that we can prepare for seating and refreshments. (Also see CBC Sports, pg. 2)
A Place to Feel at Home (pg. 2)
Dan Carson – There is nothing like being back at home. When I went off to college a million years ago, I would come home for a weekend or the summer and just release a big sigh. I was back at a place where people loved me, and I felt that I could really relax. We want our students to experience church that same way. We want them to feel at home and to know that they are loved and accepted. They may not experience that anywhere else. Students may not feel that they can communicate with their parents, teachers or anyone. We want to be available for them and to make sure that when they come to youth group and church that they feel like they have come home. How do we do that consistently? I will be the first to admit that it is much easier with some students than others.
Student Uses Locker to Pray for Classmates (pg. 2)
Tess Schoonhoven (Baptist Press) – To help meet the needs of fellow classmates, 16-year-old junior Brianna Farris started a “prayer locker” ministry at her school — Pell City High School. Students can write down and leave requests of any nature in the locker. Brianna then takes them home and prays for them individually. Brianna said she first had the idea to start a prayer ministry when she often found herself serving as a shoulder for her friends to cry on. “I would always go home and pray for them (her friends) as well, so I got the idea of people being able to drop prayers or anything that they want to discuss in my locker,” Brianna said.
Be Transformed (pg. 3)
Larry Barker – The goal is not numbers, programs, glitz, or producing a show on Sundays. The goal is life transformation that is evident in the life of His disciples and His churches. That transformation occurs through a vibrant constant abiding in Jesus Christ. Christian, you cannot give what you do not possess. People need to see your godly character and crystal-clear evidence of your walk with Christ more than your capabilities or your charisma. Do you have an intimate and passionate daily relationship with Jesus Christ?
Who is the Object of Your Love? (pg. 3)
Chuck Bentley (Baptist Press) — Valentine’s Day is an occasion when people traditionally give to their “sweethearts” cards, flowers, candy or other expressions of their love. As Christians, we know that the ultimate source of love — and the One who truly gives it meaning — is God.The Bible tells us that we know love because the Father first loved us (I John 4:19). It tells us that God is love (I John 4:8). It is not just what He does, but who He is. And the Bible also tells us who are the objects of God’s love — us! We can probably all quote John 3:16 by heart, which begins with “For God so loved the world.” Because God loved us, He gave us Jesus, who died for our sins. Because God loved, He gave. Let’s look at another person from the Bible who loved and gave.
Someone Has Asked Me… (pg. 4)
Editor – I’ve been asked a couple of questions recently, and I figured you might also need to “hear” the answers I gave: “Diane, have you retired?” My answer was, “Not yet! You don’t get rid of me that easily.” But the real answer is that although I have announced my retirement, it won’t take effect until Nov. 5, when the BMA of Arkansas meets. During these months, Assistant Editor Jeff Herring and I are working together to finish up some projects, and so I can train him and walk him through a full year of putting out the best newspaper in the BMA. (The Publications Committee confirmed back in October that Jeff will be their nominee for editor/business manager, but the final decision will be made by you when the churches vote on him the first night of the 2020 state meeting.) “Diane, is the Trumpet in debt for the first time in many years?” My answer was, “Well, yes and no; because, technically, the Trumpet isn’t in debt — I am!”
Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)
President Addresses Pro-Life Marchers; Ark. is #51 Drunkest State; Pain as Early as 13 Weeks; Denver Schools Must Have Gender Neutral Bathrooms; Transgender Employees, ACLU Sue Florida Over Health Plan.
Law Protects Faith-based Agencies (pg. 8)
“Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has signed a bill into law that would allow private adoption agencies to refuse to place children with a family that conflicts with their religious beliefs,” said Michael Gryboski in a Jan. 27 Christian Post report. The bill states that “no private licensed child-placing agency shall be required to… participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.” “This bill prohibits (the government) from denying to a private licensed child-placing agency any grant, contract or participation in a government program because of the agency’s objection to participating in a placement that violates the agency’s moral convictions,” notes the legislation.
Five Facts About the Arkansas Lottery (pg. 10)
Jerry Cox – Ten years running, the Arkansas Lottery has been a dismal failure. Not only has the Lottery pulled billions of dollars out of the economy, but it has failed to deliver on its promise of providing $100 million per year for college scholarships as well. Here are five facts to know about Arkansas’ state-run lottery: Only a fraction of the money goes to students. In a good year, the lottery gives college students about 18¢-19¢ out of every dollar it makes. So far this fiscal year, the lottery is giving students about 14¢-15¢ out of every dollar. For perspective, the average state lottery budgets about 30% of its revenue for education. This puts the Arkansas Lottery’s scholarship budget well below the national average.
Game Changer (pg. 10)
Valarie Fish – The first covenant recorded in the Bible was God’s covenant with Noah in Genesis 6. He promised Noah that he and his family would be saved from the flood on the condition that he build an ark. Noah believed God and followed the instructions. After the flood, God made another covenant with Noah and his descendants and with all the creatures of the earth in Genesis 9 to never again destroy the earth with a flood. We all get to see the reminder of this promise every time we glimpse a rainbow. Both covenants represent the two major categories of covenant found in the Bible:
God’s Desire and Man’s Duty (pg. 11)
Paul White (Rom. 10:14-15) – Outreach to a lost and dying world is the responsibility of the church. While traveling on the Jericho road in Israel, we noticed a monastery on the side of a cliff. Seeing how they had isolated themselves from the world made me realize that God brings us together for a purpose. Our understanding of Scripture gives us the blessed assurance that those whom the Lord saves He can keep. We understand at the moment of the new birth that we are engrafted into the family of God.
Retirement Center: Bible Study Okay (pg. 11)
“A Virginia couple who were threatened with eviction from their retirement home if they continued to hold Bible study meetings have won the right to hold classes again,” said Michael Gryboski in a Jan. 17 Christian Post report. “Kenneth and Liv Hauge recently reached a settlement with the Evergreens at Smith Run in Fredericksburg, allowing them to continue holding Bible classes and movie screenings in the community room. In July 2018, the Community Realty Company, the parent company for Evergreens, sent a notice to the Hauges saying they must stop holding their Bible study at the senior living center’s community room or face eviction. According to the notice, the weekly Bible study “caused, and continues to cause, serious and substantial disturbances with other residents in the community.” (christianpost.com)
Canada: No Euthanasia, No Funding (pg. 11)
“Should hospice professionals be forced to assist the suicides of their patients who want to die?” asked Wesley Smith in a Jan. 24 LifeNews report. “Not too long ago, the answer to that question would have been an emphatic ‘Of course not!’ Hospice is not about making people dead. Rather, it seeks to help terminally ill patients live well through intensive medical, spiritual, psychological and social treatments to alleviate the pain and emotional suffering that dying people and their families may experience. (lifenews.com)
Surveillance Cameras at Church (pg. 12)
When theft, injuries and other incidents occur at ministries, surveillance camera footage can help provide an account of what happened. Security cameras can even deter crime. Consider the following points before and after installation: Objectives —Before picking up an all-in-one video surveillance system from your local store, first consider your objectives. Do you just want to know what happened or do you want to be able to clearly identify who did it, too? How many cameras will you need? Will you want cameras indoors and outdoors? What, if any, exterior lighting is available for nighttime surveillance?
There Has to be a Better Way (pg. 12)
Dr. Ronnie Floyd • Baptist Press – (Editor’s Note: While Dr. Floyd’s comments were directed to matters related to the Southern Baptist Convention, this is being run in the Trumpet because he offers good advice for Christians who use social media.) Words hurt people. I have been told for years and found it to be true personally, “Hurt people, hurt people.” When words are used about someone or to someone that defame, demean or degrade them, hurt occurs. The toxic talk occurring across social media platforms relating to Southern Baptist matters and relationships is inexcusable. Not only is it inexcusable, it is unbiblical. Not one of us is exempt from Jesus’ command in John 13:34 to “Love one another,” nor are we exempt from the words of Eph. 4:31, “Let all bitterness, anger, and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice.”