Current News – 7-15-2020

*SOAR 2020 (pg. 1)

Nick Jacobsen -It is very easy to say that COVID-19 has changed everything, including SOAR 2020. However, one thing that didn’t change is the impact SOAR 2020 had.Since SOAR 2020 was online, there was no way of knowing exactly how many individuals watched, but what we do know is how many times the sessions were played, how many times the sessions were downloaded and something called “impressions.” There were over 230 downloads of the sessions and over 140 downloads of the breakout sessions. There were over 640 plays of the sessions.Those numbers are great, but since we posted the session videos on Facebook and people shared the post, there were almost 9,000 impressions, meaning nearly 9,000 people saw the SOAR sessions on their Facebook feeds. This year, Lifeword partnered with SOAR and gave away AirPod Pros to a student pastors who signed up on the SOAR website. The winner of the AirPod Pros was Glen Taylor from First Baptist Church at McNeil.

*Missionaries to Host Lunch (pg. 5)

Missionaries to the Philippines Stan Scroggins and Jimmy Wallace, who are in the States on furlough, said: “We are trapped, at least until the Philippines reopen its borders to foreigners, so let’s do lunch! Come and find out all the latest about how God is working in Southeast Asia.” All Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas pastors and “other interested folks” are invited to an informational lunch with the two missionaries on Monday, July 20 at 11:30 a.m. The event will be held at the Southern Arkansas University Association of Baptist Students building at 2223 N. Washington St., Magnolia, Ark. 71753. Please RSVP by texting (573) 489-9549 or (870) 299-9167.

*Ark. Ten Commandments Monument Trial Delayed (pg. 1)

 “A trial over Arkansas’ monument of the Ten Commandments has been postponed due to COVID-19,” said Jerry Cox, president of Ark. Family Council in a July 8 news release. The lawsuit was set to go to trial this month, but due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, the trial is being delayed 60–90 days. (

*SCOTUS: Two Religious Liberty Wins (pg. 1)

 “The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) reaffirmed in two 7-2 votes on July 8 that churches and religious organizations are free to make employment and health insurance decisions based on their convictions,” said Tom Strode in a Baptist Press report. In one ruling, the justices reiterated their support for a “ministerial exception” that enables churches and other religious bodies to hire and fire based on their beliefs. They had ruled unanimously in 2012 in favor of such an exception. In consolidated cases, two Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles chose not to renew contracts for two fifth-grade teachers based on what they said was poor performance. In its other opinion, the high court upheld federal rules that protect the rights of employers with religious or moral objections to the Obama-era, abortion/contraception mandate. The opinion came after a seven-year legal battle by the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic order that serves the poverty-stricken elderly, to gain an exemption from the requirement. (

*Tenn. Abortion Bill Signed/Blocked (pg. 1)

 “Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a broad pro-life law Monday to protect unborn babies from abortions once their heartbeats are detectable,” said Micaiah Bilger in a July 13 Life News report. “A pro-life Republican, Lee celebrated the legislation as a ‘historic moment’ for the state.” Though the legislation is described as a heartbeat bill, it includes many different measures to protect unborn babies. The law passed the state legislature in June, and pro-life lawmakers said they wrote the bill to withstand a legal challenge… On Monday, however, after Lee signed the law, U.S. District Judge William L. Campbell issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state from enforcing it. (

Recruiting the Right Volunteers (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – Some of my favorite people are those that volunteer with students. They are men and women who genuinely care about the next generation and love investing their time and energy into students. They are often creative and loving people who are willing to give up vacations and so much more to make sure that young people know Jesus better. Last week, we talked about “Picking the Right Volunteers,” and focused in on the right characteristics for the men and women that will come alongside of you. This week, we want to look at recruiting your teammates. After you have determined your need and what you are looking for in the way of volunteers, it is time to seek out those individuals.

Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2020 (pg. 2)

Terry Kimbrow – Central Baptist College is currently preparing for the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester and is accepting applications for both the traditional and PACE programs. Financial aid options are available to qualifying students in both programs. The following three things will allow CBC to make a decision regarding your application for admission:

Scam Artists Pose As Contact Tracers (pg. 2)

According to Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, scam artists have found an opportunity by using the important task of contact tracing to steal money and the identity of Arkansans. In trying to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Arkansas Department of Health is using contact tracing to identify people who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. One way bad actors are impersonating contact tracers is by sending text messages containing a link and claiming that by clicking on the link, the recipient will be contacted about a positive test, but in actuality, the link gives the scam artist direct access to the phone holder’s personal information.

Unrealistic Expectations (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – What is your working environment like? What is it like to serve on your ministry team alongside of you? Do people know what to expect from you and understand their role and responsibilities? One thing to be reminded of is that the greatest asset you have on your team is the people who are on the journey with you. You must remind yourself regularly that people are not an interruption to our ministry, they are your ministry. Team dynamics and working relationships are challenged greatly by unrealistic expectations.

Fake COVID-19 Treatments (pg. 3)

As the pandemic continues and Arkansans attempt to get back on their feet, scam artists see an opportunity that the uncertainty surrounding the virus has caused. A new scam has been identified by the Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s Office seeking to target the Hispanic population in Arkansas. Businesses are charging exorbitant amounts of money for COVID-19 tests and for “immunity boosts” that will prevent or treat COVID-19, with no credible proof from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the Arkansas Health Department.

How Should I Cope With Change? (pg. 3)

Becca Watts-Dean – Literally since the week before my wedding, my entire world can be summed up in one word — change. I am a planner. Normally my life is scheduled and planned in what they call “in pen” six weeks in advance on my calendar and “in pencil” six months in advance. I love a nice plan and beautifully organized events and houses. But COVID-19. I got married the week that COVID-19 became more than a buzzword on the news but a reality that, for lack of a better phrase, shut the world down. So not only did we have to, at the last minute, completely move our wedding in three days; but our honeymoon was basically canceled, too!

Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)

Abortion is Not A Human Right; Navy Retreats From Worship Ban Policy; Forced Abortion, Genocide in China; Study Links Marijuana With Psychosis and Suicide; Court Strikes Down Ban On Aid to Religious Schools; National Anthem Ditched For Guthrie Folk Tune; PP Admits Harvesting Body Parts From Babies Born Alive

Part 1 of 3: The Beatitudes (pg. 4)

Dr. Tony Cleaver –  (Matt. 5:2 CSB) Jesus uses the word “blessed” over and again as He teaches in this Beatitude section. Sometimes readers become jaded at the familiar repetition of the word “blessed” and overlook the point of the message. Jesus is congratulating His kind of people. Businesses, organizations, clubs and society in general have special awards for the people who engender the values of a certain standard. The military awards medals, clubs give plaques and other organizations put your picture in the local newspaper. Here, Jesus gives focus to the kind of people who are included in His Kingdom. He says it with the word we translate “blessed.” In other words, He says to these who exhibit the qualities He desires: “Congratulations to you. Happy are you. Fortunate are you. Welcome to you. I give you My approval.” Are you blessed by the Lord Jesus? Does He approve of you?

Mrs. Crawford, Former Missionary, Dies (pg. 5)

Mildred Elizabeth Crawford, 91 of Conway, passed away July 7. She and her late husband, Rufus Crawford, spent 15 years in Brazil and Portugal as missionaries while raising her family. During that time, she organized Ladies Auxiliaries, VBS and Bible studies in the Portuguese language and founded an orphanage that touched hundreds of children, some of whom continued to connect with her until the end. At the age of 52, she earned a BSE in Special Education and taught in the public schools until her retirement. She loved to sing and read her Bible. Survivors include: a son, Stanley (Cheryl) Crawford; four daughters, Diann (Mike) Jones, Kay (Wendel) McCorkle, Dixie (Mark) Thackston and Telma (Mike) Cross; 9 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held July 11 at Roller McNutt Funeral Home in Conway. Memorials may be made to the Rufus and Mildred Crawford Endowed Scholarship at Central Baptist College, 1501 College Ave., Conway, Ark. 72034.

Book Review (pg. 5)

Editor – I used many “mantras” to teach my children as they were growing up, and one of them was “Different isn’t better or worse, it’s just different.” The saying was usually used to teach Bobby and Trina to look deeper into a person’s soul rather than stopping at their outward appearance. I encouraged them to treat everyone the same, and I also wanted them to know that they would “cut off their nose to spite their face” if they didn’t because they would miss many blessings. Patty (P.L.) Rainey, who is a member of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Plumerville, has written a wonderful new children’s book about the unlikely friendship between a dog and a cat that teaches that same principle. The 24-page children’s book is called Abby the Dog and Tigger the Cat. This is a description of the book in the author’s own words…

Mooney Marks 50 Years in Ministry

 (via Baptist Herald) — First Baptist Church (Galena, Kan.) Pastor Emeritus Paul Mooney will be celebrating 50 years in the ministry. He grew up at this church and surrendered to preach July 17, 1970, at a church camp in Saginaw, Mo. Later, he helped in the mission work at Highland Park Baptist Church in Independence, Kan. and went on as an interstate missionary to start Bethel Baptist Chapel in Pittsburg, Kan. Bethel organized into Meadowside Baptist Church in November 1976. Bro. Mooney has preached revivals across the United States and traveled to help in our mission work in the Philippines. He has held positions as pastor at Lebanon Baptist Church in Laurel, Miss. and Heritage Baptist Church in Nevada, Mo. He retired as associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Galena, Kan., and still preaches the Word by filling in for other pastors. This year has been and will be a year of celebrations. He and his wife, Mary celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on June 25; and he will celebrate his 80th birthday on Sept. 12. If you would like to send him a card, please mail to: Paul Mooney, 4606 W. 28th Place, Joplin, Mo. 64804.

Come Apart and Rest Awhile (pg. 5)

Jeff Swart – I once read what I consider to be a spurious legend concerning the Apostle John, but it does make an important point. According to the legend, John had a partridge that he enjoyed very much. One day, a hunter was passing by where John lived and saw him talking to his partridge. The hunter was surprised to see the great apostle playing with a bird. The hunter is reported to have said, “I am surprised, Sir, to see you engaged in such an amusement when there are such great matters related to the Gospel with which you could be busy.”

Stay Safe When The Temperatures Soar (pg. 6)

As temperatures heat up, the American Red Cross reminds everyone of the steps they should take to stay safe when the temperatures rise. “High temperatures, humidity and hot, indoor environments can quickly cause heat-related emergencies,” said Lori Arnold, executive director of the American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas. “Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.” The Red Cross has some simple steps to help beat the heat…

Handle it! Handle it! (pg. 6)

Paul Gauntt – Many of you remember the late 1970s sitcom, “Carter Country,” set in a sleepy little town where Victor French played the chief of police, Roy Mobey — and the boisterous mayor, Teddy Burnside, played by Richard Paul. You probably remember the mayor’s trademark phrase, which became a universal byword, “Handle it! Handle it!” Let me tell you of a long-time missionary who was not afraid to use the term. For several decades, the late Paul Robinson was a missionary to Nicaragua and was used mightily of God in building a significantly strong and large work there. In fact, there was a time, a few years ago, when the mother church he planted was the largest in the entire BMA, attendance-wise, averaging over 1,000 people each week.

Invitations (pg. 6)

Martha Brock – Leta stood with her back to the gate. Her little granddaughter pulled at her skirt, clamoring for attention. As she watched the sun go down, Leta was thinking back to the day she had first spoken to Lyle. It had been sundown then, too. He had stood on her parents’ front porch with his friend. Actually, the friend had come to see Leta, but he faded into the background as Leta’s and Lyle’s hearts met. “Gramma, Gramma tell us that story again, “ clamored her granddaughter. “Well it happened a long time ago, in a land far to the east,” Gramma began. “Rebekah was a beautiful young girl, but she wasn’t married. People wondered about her — she was older than most young brides, but she seemed happy to stay at home with her momma and papa.”

Part 1 – Doctrine of Security: What About Once Saved, Always Saved? (pg. 7)

Paul White – In these days of uncertainty, it is good to be able to grab hold of something that is both sure and steadfast for this life and the one to come. One such promise is that of security of the believer. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be taking a closer look at some of the passages that confirm this blessed and wonderful doctrine that separates Baptists from most of the religions of the world. The doctrine of security is one of the most blessed and exciting doctrines in the Bible, yet one of the most misunderstood.

Equippin’ the Missionaries (pg. 7)

Juan Carlos Posadas and Chad White

Mailbox: 100 by 100 (pg. 8)

Michelle Harper –     Union Rescue Mission (Dorcas House/Nehemiah House) is an extension of the church on the front lines battling abuse, addiction, and homelessness. We offer 9-12 month faith-based addiction recovery programs for both men and women, a domestic violence program for women and children, and a recovery program for the homeless. Our recovery programs are free and we want to be a resource for the church body and their families.

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