*World Missions Day 2021: Grateful for Your Giving (pg. 1)
John David Smith – I cannot recall a year like 2020. We have been thrust into uncharted waters but sustained by the simple truth that our God is in control. I have never been more thankful for your faithful partnership with BMA Mission. The turbulence of 2020 has been a global experience, yet what an encouragement to hear how God has blessed in the midst of global chaos. Isn’t that just like God? Here is a glimpse of what we have seen around the world:
*The True Meaning of Christmas (pg. 1)
Christmas Day will be here before we know it! It doesn’t seem possible does it? Each passing year seems to go by more quickly than the last. As we focus upon the Christmas season, some of us may bemoan the fact that Christmas has become so commercialized and people so materialistic that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost. I learned a long time ago that I cannot change anyone but me, so this Christmas, I have resolved to focus on what I think is important and not worry about what other people are or are not doing at this time of the year. Spiritually speaking, to me personally, Christmas is:
*Handling the Unexpected During the Holidays (pg. 1)
Katy McCown – The look in her eye hinted at the fact that she was trying to help me out. With six little ones under my feet, dinner to be made and another practice to get ready for, the chip on the floor threatened to make everything fall apart. Especially when I stepped on it. While enjoying an after-school snack, someone let a chip slip through their fingers, and it fell to the middle of the floor. The same middle of the floor that my hurried feet shuffled straight through and crushed the forgotten chip into a million tiny pieces. I was already on the edge of irritable and this chip threatened to be the push that sent me over, until my little girl said two words: “No problem.”
Balancing Student Ministry & Home Life (pg. 2)
Dan Carson – As we approach the holidays during this crazy year, there are constant reminders of how things are not normal. A “normal” holiday season in student ministry means parties, ministry opportunities and concerts upon concerts. While these things go hand in hand with student ministry, they can bring some unwanted tension into the home…How do we balance out the holidays, or whatever season of ministry we are in, with our families?
Lessons Learned in a Pandemic (pg. 3)
Larry Barker – Adaptability and flexibility are certainly necessary during these challenging times. The stress and weariness are real as we experience decision fatigue, opinion fatigue and the fatigue of uncertainty. No matter what decision you make, there will be multiple (did I mention multiple) opinions, and then your decision may need to be changed within 48 hours or less. All you can do is seek the Lord’s direction, receive wise counsel, make the best decision you can and then press forward. The burden of leadership decisions weighs heavy on your shoulders right now because you do not want to over-react or under-react.
*Arkansas’ Abortion Rate Cut in Half (pg. 3)
(via familycouncil.org) — Last week the federal Centers for Disease Control released a report indicating Arkansas’ abortion rate has been cut in half since the year 2000. The numbers were published in the CDC’s Abortion Surveillance report for the year 2018 — the most recent year for which the CDC has published abortion statistics.
Don’t Let COVID-19 Be The Grinch (pg. 3)
Tom Mitchell – I was just thinking — many people are familiar with the movie, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” Of course, it doesn’t focus merely on the gifts, tinsel, lights, etc.; it focuses on the stealing of the spirit of Christmas. As Karen and I watch various news reports and read of incidents across our nation where Christianity has come under attack, like most of you, we know that if Christ is in the heart, nothing or no one can take that away. Christ spoke to a storm-tossed sea and the troubled waters became calm. During this stormy year of 2020, may each of us remember that the Prince of Peace can calm our troubled hearts.
Progress is Being Made (pg. 4)
Editor Jeff Herring – Our mission is to keep the news coming to you in the best, most efficient way possible. One way that we have been working to do this is an upgrade to our circulation management system. This has been in the works for over a year, and we have been in the process of actually transitioning to the new system for the past four months. If all goes well, you won’t notice any changes, and you will continue receiving your Trumpet each week.
*I Wish I’d Said That (pg. 5)
The late Maggie Chandler – (Her first article for this column — reprinted from the Sept. 10, 1975 Baptist Trumpet) Over the past 10 years, I couldn’t count the number of times I have borrowed some magnificent thought, phrase, prover, or outline from a writer or preacher. After using it to full advantage and the idea creating the desired effect, I have had to hang my head meekly and say, “I wish I’d said that, but I didn’t.” How I wish I’d had the forethought to have jotted down all these relics of divine wisdom.
Maggie Chandler Called Home (pg. 5)
Margaret Ann (Maggie) Kinley Chandler, 71 of Conway, passed away Dec. 1, after a valiant battle with COVID-19. She was the wife of Don Chandler, pastor of Central Baptist in Conway, where she served as a Life Group teacher for 40 years and worked with women’s ministries.
Tressie Spears Passes Away (pg. 5)
Tressie Loy Reynolds Spears, 98 of Greenbrier, passed away Dec. 3. She was the widow of W.S. Spears, who passed away in 2009 after 41 years in the ministry, pastoring several BMA of Arkansas churches and serving as a missionary for the Mount Vernon Association at Greers Ferry for four years.
Widow of Wassell Burgess Dies (pg. 5)
Elsie Imogene (Jean) Sewell Burgess, 93 of Greenbrier, passed away Dec. 1. She was the widow of Wassell L. Burgess, who pastored many churches in central Arkansas and also served 27 years as an instructor, academic dean and president at Central Baptist College.
Exposing the Lie Of Hakuna Matata (pg. 6)
Melody Turner – Whether you have or have not watched The Lion King, you probably have heard the phrase “hakuna matata,” which means “no worries.”…We have a destiny and a purpose, like the sun rises and sets each morning, to be holy and to be adopted into God’s family. With this great purpose, we cannot simply hakuna matata through life. We must face the facts — like Simba did through the help of his friend, Rafiki — that God not only lives within us through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit, but He also has a great purpose for us.
Charitable Solicitation: Register Before Asking For Money (pg. 6)
Your church, school, college or camp outreach may span several states, resulting in out-of-state charitable donations. Most states require nonprofits to register before receiving contributions. For organizations big or small, or those which span multiple states, compliance for online contributions and professional fundraising events can be complicated.
Forgiveness in Real Time (pg. 7)
Paul White – This is the season to remember God’s love for us, He demonstrated His love by sending His Son to pay our sin debt. Often, we have heard the line “I owed a debt I could not pay, and He (Jesus) paid a debt He did not owe.” Have you given much thought to that aspect of God’s love and concern for us? In my lifetime I have experienced it in a very real sense. We were poor, like most everyone in those days. It was normal to have an account at the local mercantile store (early day Walmart plus some) where you could charge items like food, pick sacks, plow points, a new pair of pants or shoes and feed until crop time or payday, and then you would come in and settle your debt.
Spotlight On Missions (pg. 7)
Michel & Ruth Poiriere – The situation in Africa is not getting much better. Our church in Cameroon has been taking in refuge families who fled from the north in order to save what’s left of their families. When they arrived, they had nothing except what they had on their backs. We were able, through love gifts that came in, to send $450 to help carry the burden of the church’s needs. Even during this time of struggle, the church is flourishing in fellowship and spiritual growth. The Bible lesson through Facebook is the only source of spiritual education the leaders are getting. I praise the Lord for Pastor Serge Leclerc, who took over our work in Ste. Marie and, with my assistance, directs the spiritual development of these Christians.
Christmas From the States (pg. 8)