*BMA of Arkansas Meeting: Difficult Decisions (pg. 1)
Tom Mitchell -When I began writing these articles last November, the choice for a masthead was “Just Thinking.” Oh, my! When it comes to dealing with the difficult decision of having the annual session of the BMA of Arkansas, I (as well as several others) have had to do a lot of just thinking… only to realize that this is not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination.
*Countries in Need (pg. 1)
Ben Temple -Water for Christ (W4C) continues to drill clean water wells around the world. So far this year, we have drilled three wells in Ghana. W4C has also been helping pastors get more Biblical training and supporting missionaries who are planting churches. We look forward to meeting the requests of pastors and missionaries around the globe (see two needs below) as we strive to equip and support them with all means possible. There are two upcoming opportunities for you to show your support for Water for Christ by sponsoring and/or attending these fundraisers…
*Moral Action Update (pg. 1)
Dr. John Adams – Never before have we encountered such anti-God, anti-church and destructive behavior as we are dealing with today. We all must agree that change is in the air for America and for our world. Even so, it’s not likely that you and I will ever have to face consuming torture as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had in the furnace of Daniel’s book. Many writers and speakers tell us that God knows completely what we are going through. So the very strength and joy is that Jesus is walking through it with us. We do love Him!
*COVID+ and Your Ministry: Tracking and Tracing (pg. 3)
Just a few months ago, the thought of taking attendance for your church service or having people register in advance to attend a service were almost non-existent. Today, however, ministry teams are looking into both. This type of tracking helps limit the number of people in the building for social distancing purposes, makes it easier to assign seating for services, meetings and activities, and plays a central role with contact tracing efforts in case someone on your staff or an attendee becomes ill or tests positive for coronavirus.
*Marijuana/Gambling Initiatives Off November Ballot (pg. 6)
Larry Page – Earlier this year, it appeared that we would have to conduct campaigns to defeat several proposed constitutional amendments. Sponsors of six initiatives that we were monitoring were working to qualify their proposals for the November general election ballot. Four of those initiatives would have either legalized recreational marijuana or expunged the criminal records of those convicted of dealing marijuana. And one would have done both. Also, there were two proposed constitutional amendments to legalize more gambling in the state. One would have allowed coin operated “amusement” (actually gambling) machines in hundreds of convenience stores and other venues across the state.
The Greatest Textbook (pg. 2)
Dan Carson – After six months at home (or in hospitals), my children are headed back to college. Last Saturday, I delivered my daughter to Central Baptist College and will be taking my son to Ouachita Baptist University this coming Friday. I’m excited for them and hopeful that this year’s on-campus college experience lasts more than just a few weeks with the challenges of COVID-19.
2020 Employee Awards (pg. 2)
Terry Kimbrow – Central Baptist College honored faculty and staff for their service to CBC during the annual Pre-College Meeting for all employees. Below is a list of employees who were honored…
Part 2: Should I Stay or Should I Go? (pg. 2)
Larry Barker – Is it possible to stay at a church too long? Yes it is, but it is probably more of a temptation to leave too quickly. There are certain signals about the length of your tenure where God has placed you. If God gives you a clear sign that it is time to leave, then you must be obedient to His leadership. But make sure it is God speaking and not difficulties, criticism or conflict. There will always be challenges in ministry, but God needs us to lead through those times and not run from them. Have you accomplished what God called you there for?
Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)
Nearly 150 Christians Killed in Nigeria; LA Threatens Darkness for Churches; Billy Graham Statue May Stand in Capitol; Graham Announces “Prayer Day”
Spotlight on Missions (pg. 4)
Doug & Diane Lee, Philippines
Kidds to Mark 60th Anniversary (pg. 5)
Jerry and Sue Kidd will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary later this month. They were married Aug. 26, 1960 at the same place where they had met three years earlier — College View Baptist Church in Magnolia.
R.D. Cline, Miss. Pastor, Dies (pg. 5)
Raymond D. Cline, 72 of Amory, Miss., passed away Aug. 6. A native of Oklahoma, he graduated from Idabel High School in 1966 and attended Oklahoma State University while serving in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He then earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Southeastern Baptist College in Laurel, Miss. and Master’s degree in Religious Education from Liberty University in Virginia. He supported himself through college selling Bibles for Southeastern Bible Book Company, which led to his acceptance of Christ as his personal savior. He surrendered to the ministry Jan. 28, 1978 at Parkview Baptist Church in Gautier, Miss.
Preaching in the Park (pg. 5)
Jeff Knowlton -Saturday, Aug. 8, was a blessed day yesterday as the first Preaching in the Park was held in Manila. We heard some wonderful praise music from First United Methodist Praise Team, and Joe Chipman brought two wonderful songs that made us think about the Manila we used to know growing up as kids and the values that families taught and passed down through the generations. As I listened, I thought to myself many of our young folks today will not have the opportunity to know the Delta and America as we knew it growing up. It was a blessing to listen to the two original songs, “Little Stream of Muddy Water” and “The House Where we Were Fed.”
According to Matthew (pg. 5)
Tony Cleaver – (Matt. 9:38)Most parents pray something like this for their children: “God let them be healthy, happy and successful.” That is not at all evil, in and of itself. Prayers might go on to include words like: “God let them make a lot of money by being a…” Good parent, have you ever prayed that it would be your child that the Lord of the harvest sends out? Christ and His church need workers for the harvest. What about your child?
Who’s In Control? (pg. 6)
Jeff Swart – A young man was learning to fly a single-engine airplane, and it was time for him to learn how to land the plane. The flight instructor asked the young pilot want-to-be, “Are you ready to land the plane?” The young man replied, “Let’s do it!” So as the plane began to descend back toward the earth, the pilot noticed how cool and calm the young man was. There were absolutely no signs of nervousness — no white knuckles, red face, sweaty palms, shaking of the leg or biting of the lip. The experienced flight instructor knew that this was very unusual for someone attempting their first landing and thought to himself what a great pilot this young man was going to be.
Partners in Ministry (pg. 7)
Paul White -I want to take this time to thank those who received, and forwarded to State Missions, Special Emphasis offerings for our missionaries. And, for the last time this year, I want to encourage you who have not to consider doing so. This year’s Special Emphasis offerings will go directly to the missionaries to supply the special things they need to better serve their communities. Out of the 340 or so churches in the state association, 51 sent in Special Emphasis offerings in 2018; compared to 46 in 2019. Currently, we have already received offerings from 27 churches for 2020 (through Aug. 10). It is still early in August, and offerings will continue to come in over the next couple of months. Thanks again for helping our association fulfill the Great Commission in our little corner of the world.
Mary Was Grieving (pg. 8)
Martha Brock – Grief is an old-fashioned word, but it truly pictures how a person feels when they realize a loved one has gone from Earth. We can say sorrow or mourn, but those who have known the loss of death realize that the word grief is a better picture of their hearts. Mary was grieving. It had been all she could do to keep the Jewish law and stay away from the tomb until after the Passover, but it would soon be light on this third day and she could not wait any longer. She rose quietly, dressed and hurried out. On the road, she realized that there were some already ahead of her. Yes, she could barely see, but she recognized those other women and she supposed they were bringing ointments and spices for Jesus’ body.
When You Meet a Beggar (pg. 8)
Jared C. Wilson • Baptist Press – The situation is ages old. We face beggars today, just as the disciples did in the first century. Walking down the street or pulling out of the grocery store parking lot, you’re confronted by a haggard figure, perhaps holding a sign, telling a familiar story about being homeless or hungry or needing to travel to a certain location or having a car out of gas. In urban settings or rural, the specific contexts may differ, but the neediness and the opportunities do not. A hand is outstretched before you. Do you put money in it or do you decline?