Current News – 4-1-2020

*From the States (pgs. 5-9)

*Jonesboro Fights Two Enemies, “One Seen and One Unseen” (pg. 1)

Editor -Saturday, March 28, a major storm system moving through the Central U.S. brought at least 17 reported tornadoes, including an EF3 tornado that ripped through Jonesboro, Ark., injuring 22 people and leaving a trail of flattened homes and businesses. There were no deaths reported as a result of the tornado (the seen enemy), and officials think COVID-19 (the unseen enemy) was one reason, since businesses (especially Turtle Creek Mall) that would normally be packed with shoppers weren’t because of “social distancing.”Governor Asa Hutchinson has declared Jonesboro a state natural disaster. A second tornado was rated in Southeast Greene County as EF1.In addition to many businesses that were damaged, especially in The Mall at Turtle Creek, the following report was given on individual homes: 83 destroyed, 66 with major damage, 309 with minor damage, 10 slightly affected and 20 with no damage. Several areas were hit in the five-mile path of the storm, especially a subdivision behind the mall. Officials said their best estimate for damage cost is “several hundred million dollars,” and at least “$100 million” to the Mall at Turtle Creek.

*Stimulus Package (pg.1)

Watch next week’s issue (and the Baptist Trumpet Facebook page) for a report from BMA directors about the government’s Stimulus Package and how it affects BMA churches, departments and members.

*Updated DiscipleGuide Recommendations (pg. 1)

 “We are sorry that some of these recommendations were not included in the initial press releases,” said BMA of America President Jeff Swart. “The complete recommendations were not sent to us until Thursday night, March 26.”

*COVID-19 and Special Emphasis (pg. 1)

Editor -There is never a good time to go through something like the Coronavirus Pandemic, but this is the worst possible time for the Baptist Trumpet — less than two weeks into our March & April Special Emphasis. Am I worried? Not really. Am I concerned? You’d better know it! That was hard for me to admit because the late editor David Tidwell always told me, “Confession is good for the soul, but it’s hard on the reputation.” So my reputation may be shot at this point, but I’ve never been anything but honest with you, and I’m not going to change that now.When I told that same editor, “I want to say something,” he quickly replied, “Lands, who could stop you!” So let me “say” a few more things:

God is in Control! (pg. 2)

Terry Kimbrow – In these uncertain times in our world, it is important to remember that God is in control! At Central Baptist College we are responding to the current COVID-19 pandemic as best we know how, and we are planning for what could possibly lie ahead. But because we are rooted in Christ, we know that we need not fear. Psalm 46 tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Because He is our refuge and strength, we know that He will sustain us! Because the country is now practicing “social distancing,” we find ourselves spending more time at home as many of the activities we participate in are cancelled or limited. This is a time that prospective students for the Fall 2020 semester, and their families, can make progress in the enrollment process. I want to share with you some thoughts on why I think you should consider CBC as your number one college choice, and at the end I will give you some things you can do online while you are “social distancing.”

Alston, Williams Earn All-America Honors (pg. 2)

Erik Holth – The NAIA National Office recently announced that a pair of CBC men’s basketball players have earned All-America honors. Tyrone Alston and Darius Williams were both selected to the NAIA Honorable Mention All-America team, marking the first time that two Mustangs have earned All-American recognition in the same season, and the third season in a row that CBC has earned honorable mention honors.

Low-Tech Ways to Support Your Students During COVID-19 (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – Throughout our churches, there are young men and women who are mourning right now. They are mourning the loss of many things that we had the opportunity to experience — senior prom, graduation ceremony, senior skip day, last day at middle school, last day at junior high, last plays, last concerts, last games… Some of these things may still happen, but many probably won’t. Students, and especially our high school seniors, are mourning their loss right now.

The New “Normal” (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – Hopefully, we are past the shock and disbelief of the way we now have to hold worship services. We paused and began to think through how we would make the necessary changes to remain spiritually and relationally connected when the battle cry to contain the virus is social distancing. The move to virtual church was a stampede, and many websites and streaming services crashed on March 15. Then we began to think about online giving and plans were made to take that step and other necessary adaptations.

Heroes in the Faith: Those Who Came Before Us (pg. 3)

Tom Mitchell – Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica: “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other” (I Thess. 5:12-13). There are so many pastors, missionaries, associational leaders, Sunday School teachers and other believers who have made tremendous impacts on the lives of believers. I speak of those who are now living among us. But in the next few articles I want to focus on some heroes in the faith — those who came before us. I will share with you those who have influenced me, and I am certain that some of them have also touched the lives of many of our readers.

Just the Crumbs Update (pg. 4)

Lavon Haden – Just the Crumbs arrived in Nashville on March 12 and immediately began setting up to be ready to replace Mercy Chefs, who were pulling out on Sunday. We began feeding Monday, March 16. We have averaged feeding between 300-400 per day. Our most difficult challenge has been the continuous rain and wet ground where we are set up. God has provided us a tremendous group of volunteers from Arkansas, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Mexico, Brazil and, of course, Tennessee. We have partnered with an awesome organization, Connect Nashville, to reach this community. Our needs remain the same — monetary donations or food (see pg. 1 of the March 11 issue of the Baptist Trumpet for a list of needed items). We have agreed to stay as long as the need and resources last. We have permission to stay at this location for at least another two months as needed.

Fake Government Checks & Price Gouging (pg. 4)

Con artists have been working non-stop to identify new ways to take advantage of Arkansans who are concerned about the economy as a result of COVID-19. These scammers impersonate government officials and reach out to Arkansans by phone, email or social media, demanding the victims’ personal and banking information to verify their eligibility for the government’s stimulus check. “Bad actors come out in bad situations and will do anything to make a quick buck on the backs of concerned Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The federal government will never reach out asking for personal and banking information in order to confirm your eligibility for payment.”

Carol Berumen Dies (pg. 9)

Carol (Anni) Berumen, 67 of Jonesboro, passed away March 25 after a long battle with cancer. She was a member of Prospect Baptist Church, and her husband, Sal serves as missionary of the Jonesboro Association. She enjoyed crafting and loved spending time with her grandchildren. Survivors include her husband, Salvador “Sal” Berumen; a son, Michael (Amber) Beruman of Nebraska; two daughters, Elizabeth Ann (Josh) Taylor of Trumann and Mary (Chris) Downs of Hot Springs; her mother, Francis Donbuger of Trumann; and nine grandchildren. A memorial service will be announced at a later date, under the direction of Emerson Funeral Home.  To sign an online guestbook, go to emersonfuneralhome.com.

Spotlight on Missions (pg. 9)

Danny & Rita Ballard, Philippines; Doug & Diane Lee, Philippines

Say Yes to the Dress (pg. 10)

Valarie Fish – Thirty years ago, when I was shopping for a wedding dress, we opted to have one made in the exact style I wanted. I paid $250 for my dream dress. The dresses that were shown us the last time we went wedding dress shopping started at $600.  Our society places so much emphasis on the wedding day and especially on the brides’ dress, but in Bible times, the wedding would have been a feast lasting around seven days. This would have been a celebration of the fulfilment of the promises made in the betrothal covenant. For the betrothed bride in Bible times, one of her tasks would be to prepare her wedding dress. Revelation talks of the church being adorned for her groom “in fine linen, clean and white…” but other than this, the Bible doesn’t give much information about what a wedding dress might look like.

Spring Flowers and A Fragrant Witness

John Yeats (Baptist Press) – Leaning through the doorway of the florist shop, I soon smelled the spring flowers. And when I stepped into the room, the rush of blooms surrendering their pungent fragrance enveloped me.Immediately, my mind raced to Phil. 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is attractive, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”The experience was so pleasant that I, indeed, wanted to dwell. I normally shop by rushing into a store, snatching what needs to be purchased and racing to the shortest checkout line. My wife, Sharon says I can do an entire mall in less than 15 minutes. That sounds about right.

What Does Easter Tell Us? (pg. 10)

Mike McEuen –O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin: and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:55-47). The day of Christ’s resurrection was a golden day of triumph for God, and for the Son of God, and for the truth of God. What does Easter tell us?

Three Dead Snakes  and a Mosquito (pg. 10)

Judy Wallace – I saw the first one about a half-mile into my run. It was a short, stumpy black snake, and it was dead. Another mile and a half down the road I noticed the next one. It was longer, had a dark patterned back but was also very dead. The third dead snake is the one that really got me to thinking.I didn’t see it until I had turned around and headed back toward my car. This snake was much longer, much more fierce looking and freshly dead. Did you catch that word “freshly”? In other words, it had not been lying there when I passed that way earlier, which could only mean one thing — it had been very much alive and lurking in the weeds as I ran by. I was totally oblivious to its presence and was spared an encounter before I knew it was there.

Together For The Good Of All (pg. 11)

Paul White – We can find an example of the need of every member in Exodus when Moses and the army of Israel met Amalek in Exodus 17:8-13. Now, perhaps more than any time in our life, the church needs her people to exercise faithfulness. With the disruption of our week-to-week schedules, we must purpose to remain strong in the Lord. In times like these, the church needs very member. There is no big “I” and little “u” — we are all a part of the body and important to the cause of Christ. Just as the body is made up of many parts, and each part has a purpose, every church is made up of many members, and each one is important. The body can survive with some handicap, and many must do that with the loss of sight or limbs, etc.; and life goes on, but with much greater effort. Many churches are handicapped today because their members are leaving all the work of the church up to others. Yes, she can survive, but how much more could be accomplished if every member filled their position.

Opportunities in the Middle of Limitations (pg. 12)

Dr. John David Smith -In I Kings 17, Elijah is divinely sustained with water from a brook and food brought by ravens during a drought. The location and the sustenance were all given by God. This is what we would call solitude. Solitude can be defined as an intentional separation for the refining of our soul. This is us running to God.  Solitude is necessary because we tend to substitute intimacy with God with busyness for God. The most important things found in solitude are the provision and presence of God! Notice that the brook dried up — solitude is temporary, and it is intended for us to find strength and direction to move on in obedience — not stay forever.

Meriweather Serves The BMA (pg. 12)

In 2013, the churches of the BMA of America made the historic move of relocating much of its departmental structure to Conway. The dream of a unified vision, the benefits of a Shared Service Team and the savings of thousands of dollars derived from this integration have been a tremendous victory for our association. The move has given BMA Missions and Lifeword unprecedented synergy and effectiveness in reaching around the world with the gospel. And when DiscipleGuide began to suffer and eventually dissolve its ministry, many of its functions were seamlessly absorbed into this new structure that was already in place.

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