Current News – 3-25-2010

*BMAA Meeting Cancelled; Churches to Vote by Ballot (pg. 1)

Jeff Swart, President, BMA of America —The officers of the Baptist Missionary Association of America, in consultation with the department and agency directors, the Coordinating Council and the national meeting production team, have cancelled the 2020 BMA of America national meeting. The reasons for this historic decision were explained in a press release. (See Baptist Trumpet website at www.baptisttrumpet.com)Let me just say, that this decision has forced us into territory that we have never trod before and created a boatload of additional work. I am so thankful for the diligent work of the officers of this association, the department and agency directors, the Coordinating Council and the national meeting production team, all of whom have worked without complaining.

*New Missionary Recommended (pg. 1)

Anthony (Tony) Crocker, Chairman, Missions Advisory Committee —To the churches of the BMA of Arkansas and their missionary committeemen, greetings in the beautiful name of our blessed Savior, Jesus Christ. I am writing to you as chairman of the BMA of Arkansas Missions Advisory Committee and on behalf of Executive Director Paul White and Missionary Committee Chairman David Inzer. In our continued obedience to the Great Commission of our Lord, we are excited to present a bi-vocational missionary candidate. Johnny Shew is being recommended by the Advisory Committee as an Arkansas state church planter to Flippin.Bro. Johnny has gone through our newly revised application, interview and assessment process, and began holding services on March 15.

*Church During the Coronavirus Outbreak: What Should We Do? (pg. 1)

BMA of America Global Missions -Wouldn’t it be great if we could always have a long time and a lot of applicable resources in order to make important decisions? Moments like we are living now with this pandemic do make us thankful for the times that we have time and resources in our decision-making processes. Unfortunately, we are not always afforded those privileges. When we find ourselves having to make important decisions in a high-pressure, short-time context, what do we do? We pray and ask God’s guidance, we listen to those who have any experience, we weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each possible decision, we consider the consequences of each decision, then we do what leaders do and we make a decision.

*Where to Turn When You Don’t Know Where to Turn (pg. 5)

Tom Mitchell, BMA of Ark. President – I find myself just thinking about the world dilemma as the nations face the Covid-19 virus. Fear, unrest, panic and even anger are but a few of the emotions seen every day in our country. Sunday, I shared a message via Facebook Livestream from the pulpit of Central Baptist Church in Prescott, where I am serving as interim pastor. I titled the message, “Where to Turn When You Don’t Know Where to Turn.” In this article I have chosen to share some of those thoughts.

*How to Preach to an Empty Room (pg. 3)

Stephen Rummage • Baptist Press —I have been pastoring and preaching for 28 years, and I’ve spent more than 20 years as a preaching professor. Until very recently, I’ve never really given any thought about how to preach to an empty room. My goal has always been that the church would be as full as we can get it when it comes time to preach! But in light of the coronavirus and the reality of providing online Sunday services, I’ve been asked by a few leaders, “What are some tips for preaching to an empty room?”Here are some thoughts that I’m keeping in mind as I preach for video. I hope they’ll be of help to other preachers:

*Waxahachie Hotel Update (pg. 7)

BMA officers have already announced the cancellation of the BMA annual meeting that was scheduled for April 27-29 in Waxahachie, Texas. The hotel properties that were holding blocks of rooms for the BMA meeting have been notified, and if you have already reserved a room, you may have already received a notice that your reservation has been cancelled. However, since rooms within the hotel blocks are reserved by individuals, it is important to remember that if you have made a reservation with a property in Waxahachie, it remains your responsibility to make sure your reservation is cancelled. Call the hotel property directly, identify that your room was in the BMA block of rooms and cancel your reservation. Most of the hotel properties have a 48-hour cancellation policy, but please take care of this as soon as you can to avoid unnecessary charges.

VBS Column to Begin (pg. 8)

Editor – We will begin running the Vacation Bible School listings in the April 22 issue of the Baptist Trumpet, and will continue until the last VBS takes place. To include your church’s VBS (as soon as your dates are set), just send the following information to editor@baptisttrumpet.com or P.O. Box 192208, Little Rock, Ark. 72219:

Time of Transition (pg. 2)

Dr. Gary McAllister -When we sought initial approval from the Higher Learning Commission for distance delivery of courses and programs in 2010, we never imagined that one day we would teach all classes online and forgo the traditional face-to-face classroom experience, but that is exactly what has happened as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Although the primary method of course delivery has changed, student learning continues. The institution’s capacity to provide education to its students and the quality of its performance in doing so, whether via distance delivery or traditional face-to-face modes, remain the same. During this time of uncertainty, there have been many questions from students, parents, staff and faculty regarding how we will continue to educate our students while maintaining the same level of academic excellence that has come to be expected from Central Baptist College. Here are some of the questions and our responses:

Things to Do During Social Distancing (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – This is an exceptionally weird time for all of us. We find ourselves struggling emotionally, financially and perhaps, physically and spiritually. COVID-19 is definitely making its mark in our lives. One of the things that we have been forced into is this idea of social distancing and self-quarantine. These concepts have left us feeling a need to do everything and an inability to do anything. This last week, I felt like I was in a sprint from Monday morning until we aired our online service on Sunday morning. There was so much to do. However, after the initial surge of activity, things are going to slow down for us as student ministry workers. We won’t have the ball games or concerts to go to. We won’t be able to take the group to the bowling alley. We won’t be able to meet together the way we have in the past. Ultimately, that will put a little more time in your hands. What do you do with it? What should your goals be during this pandemic beyond surviving and ministering to the students in your life. Let me suggest a few things that could pay dividends in the future: 

The Church Has Left the Building (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – God has not hit the pause button on His mission. God has not stopped asking us to go and make disciples. God’s mission has not slowed down, and He still asks of us to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Great Commission and the Great Commandment remain unaffected and unchanged. Many things are being cancelled but hear this — not church! Yes, it will look different and large services will not be held. But the church continues to pray, function, minister, meet needs, worship, study and love one another. We must continue to be salt and light. Do you know why? The truth is that the church is not a building and never has been. The church is you and me — Christ followers.

Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)

Attorney to Churches; COVID-19 Halts Abortions in Texas, Ohio; 40 Days for Life Ends; Two Sides Shown on American Idol

Spotlight on Missions (pg. 4)

Sue & Sam Jordan, Jordan

Waxahachie Hotel Update (pg. 7)

BMA officers have already announced the cancellation of the BMA annual meeting that was scheduled for April 27-29 in Waxahachie, Texas. The hotel properties that were holding blocks of rooms for the BMA meeting have been notified, and if you have already reserved a room, you may have already received a notice that your reservation has been cancelled. However, since rooms within the hotel blocks are reserved by individuals, it is important to remember that if you have made a reservation with a property in Waxahachie, it remains your responsibility to make sure your reservation is cancelled. Call the hotel property directly, identify that your room was in the BMA block of rooms and cancel your reservation. Most of the hotel properties have a 48-hour cancellation policy, but please take care of this as soon as you can to avoid unnecessary charges.

Random Thoughts From Job (pg. 8)

Dr. Tony Cleaver –“There is no mediator between us, to lay his hand on both of us” (Job 9:33) In the stillness of the dark nights, there is wrestling with life and its attendant conundrums. Cries ring out in the darkness for help. The gloom seems to obscure that help or any response from on high. The despair piles on and up. Hope is gone to lostness. Life is about to move from hopelessness to inconsequentiality. Would there be a referee between me and my opponents? How can I find someone to stand between me and the oppressors? O, Lord God, give me someone to be an umpire to at least make the playing field fair! There are some gospel words right now for all of us to take to heart in the gloomiest of times: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus” (I Tim. 2:5).

Change Your Clothes (pg. 9)

Valarie Fish – The covenant contract has been written and witnessed. All the symbolism and ritual has been followed. The bride and groom are officially betrothed. Only a divorce decree can undo what has been done. The groom makes his final promise — I am going to prepare a place for you. When my Father approves, I will come again and take you home with me where we will no longer have to be separated from one another. We recognize John 14:1-3 because this is where we are now — waiting for our covenant-partner to return for us. What does an impatient bride do in the meantime?

RTL Billboards to Launch in Blytheville and Mena (pg. 8)

Arkansas Right to Life is continuing a campaign to promote the Safe Haven Law and Baby Boxes across Arkansas with new billboards in Blytheville and Mena, said Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life. The Blytheville and Mena billboards will run for four weeks starting in April. The Blytheville billboard located at Interstate 55 south of Highway 18 has average weekly impressions of more than 58,000. The Mena billboard located at U.S. Highway 71 north of Dickson Road has weekly average impressions of nearly 30,000.

Attorney General’s Advice on COVID-19 (pg. 7)

Editor’s Note: The following two advisories have been received from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge: While Arkansans are staying home in an attempt to prevent infection and spread of the COVID-19 virus, con artists are out and about going door-to-door targeting frightened senior citizens. While taking extra precautions to prevent infection and the spread of the COVID-19 virus, don’t forget to be safe online. Con artists have been creating thousands of websites daily, knowing that Americans are turning to the internet for news and information about this pandemic; making it a ripe place to infect your device, steal your information and spread malware.

Daniel Springs Changes (pg. 7)

Jason Prewitt -Due to the current situation with COVID-19, Daniel Springs Baptist Camp is making the following adjustments: The price increase planned for April 1, 2020 will no longer take place. All registration prices will remain the same as last year. Go to www.DanielSpringsCamp.com for all the details and deadlines on registration. The 55th Anniversary Celebration previously set for April 18, 2020 is postponed until further notice. The Next-Step Weekend set for March 27-29, 2020 (focused on staff recruiting and planning) is cancelled. If other changes are necessary, we will communicate them as soon as possible. Feel free to email jason@danielspringscamp.com or call (903) 685-2433 if you have any questions.

Standing Firm (pg. 11)

Paul White – All are aware that we are in the middle of something the likes most of us have never experienced. It seems that the best for, not only us but others, is to limit getting out when it is not absolutely necessary. Just a few minutes ago, my niece notified me that her teenage son checked positive for COVID-19. It is assumed that some 60-70% of our general population will get it before it is through. I ask that you especially remember our missionaries and their services, as they do not have much of any reserves for something like this. To miss a weekly offering, much less several, will be a tremendous burden just as it will also be for our churches. I believe their needs will be taken care of because of your faithfulness to pray and generosity in giving.

Committing to Vote Our Christian Principles (pg. 10)

Chris Gonthier, BMAO Moral Action (via Oklahoma Baptist) – In our society today, we have multiple views as to how active Christians should be involved in governmental affairs, as well as whether Christians should even vote. Complicating matters is the fact that sometimes the candidate options leave much to be desired. How can a Christian vote his/her conscience in the midst of poor choices? It can be very difficult, especially when some Christians feel that the Bible does not address this subject. However, with proper understanding, a Christian’s role is clearly defined in Scripture. It is my desire to both encourage the Christian to vote and give practical instruction as to how to apply biblical principles in the voting process.

Trusting the Provider vs. the Provision (pg. 7)

Dr. Steve Crawley, Exec. Dir., Ministers Resource Services – From a high of 29,551 on Feb, 12, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) fell to 19,899 on March 18 — a decrease of 9,652 or 32.7%. Over a period of exactly five weeks, all of the gains experienced since President Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017 were wiped out. The rapid increase in portfolio values over the past three years created a new sensation as non-earned, passive income created a sharp rise in wealth for many people. As such, from a human perspective, it became more tempting to transfer a little more of our trust and confidence into the growing provisions in our accounts, even if in a subtle way. With the recent downturn in the markets and economy, much of our focus and conversation is likely on the decrease in our provisions, and understandably so. These provisions, along with Social Security, are a major source of income for retired individuals no longer drawing a regular paycheck. Thus, how should we as believers respond to the current situation when our “403” account seems more like a “203” account.

RTL Billboards to Launch in Blytheville and Mena (pg. 9)

Arkansas Right to Life is continuing a campaign to promote the Safe Haven Law and Baby Boxes across Arkansas with new billboards in Blytheville and Mena, said Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life. The Blytheville and Mena billboards will run for four weeks starting in April. The Blytheville billboard located at Interstate 55 south of Highway 18 has average weekly impressions of more than 58,000. The Mena billboard located at U.S. Highway 71 north of Dickson Road has weekly average impressions of nearly 30,000.

Burroughs, BMA Minister, Dies (pg. 9)

Ricky Burroughs, 66 of Clinton, passed away March 18. He was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Greenbrier. He surrendered to the ministry in 1995 and served as children’s pastor at Clinton First Baptist Church (2000-2002), pastor at Botkinburg Baptist Church (2003- 2004) and pastor of Choctaw Baptist Church from 2004 until his retirement in 2017. He led his family to establish, fund and operate Joy Home, a Christian Children’s Home, in Kolar Gold Field, India, where over 100 orphaned children found a safe and loving home. Joy Home still operates today. He and his son, Chris were partners in business, and he also operated a farm with cattle, hogs, chickens and sheep. Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Linda; his children, Rita (Tim) Barnes, Danielle (Robert) Kennedy and Chris Burroughs, and six grandchildren. Funeral services were held March 21 at Immanuel Baptist Church. Interment was at Culpepper Cemetery in Clinton under the direction of Clinton Funeral Service. Memorials may be sent to Joy Home, 659 Hardway Rd. Clinton, Ark. 72031.

Pastors Need Friends (pg. 10)

By Dr. Allen Tilley (via Baptist Progress)A pastor’s life can be lonely. While we are expected to be a friend to everyone in our congregation, finding someone with whom we can be honestly transparent can be difficult. Over the years, I’ve heard horror stories of pastors who confided in a church member, only to have their faults thrown into their faces at a business meeting. While God never intended pastors to walk alone, we must be careful about selecting close friends. Knowing pastors and their friendship needs are different, here are some suggestions for developing the right kind of friendships:

Dear Women of the BMA (pg. 11)

Jodi Rhea, President, National WMA – I am sure that most of you have heard that the National BMA of America meeting in April has been cancelled. That means our WMA meeting and Women’s Conference has been cancelled, too, and we are having to make decisions we have never had to make before. The BMA is keeping the same slate of officers for the coming year with the same speaker, in the same place and so we have decided to do the same. We will carry on with our theme, “Share the Vision” and hope that all the scheduled speakers will still be available next year.

The Joy of Forgiveness (pg. 2)

Mike McEuen –  (Psa. 51:3,12) – Psalm 51 contains David’s confession to God in dealing with his sins of adultery with Bathsheba, then having her husband Uriah killed on the battlefield. It describes David as being overwhelmed with guilt. Convicted by the voice of God, David cried out in his despair. He saw himself as he really was, and he did not like what he saw! Under this weight of guilt, David begged God for mercy. As David called out to God for forgiveness, miracle of miracles, God heard and answered David’s prayer!

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