In This Issue
Connecting with God (pg. 2)
Modern Worship Service Changing (pg. 10)
Stand Firm: You’ve Held the Rope (pg. 3)
Spotlight on Missions (pg. 10)
Who Me Insecure? (pg. 3)
In This Issue
Connecting with God (pg. 2)
Modern Worship Service Changing (pg. 10)
Stand Firm: You’ve Held the Rope (pg. 3)
Spotlight on Missions (pg. 10)
Who Me Insecure? (pg. 3)
Time Nears for State Meeting
By Tom Mitchell, President • BMA of Arkansas
The 72nd Annual Session of the BMA of Arkansas will convene in the Burgess Auditorium on the campus of Central Baptist College on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will resume on Friday, Nov. 5, at 9 a.m.
The Thursday evening service will focus on worship. The CBC Choir and the Singers, will lead the service under the direction of Jim Turner.
Following will be the annual message preached by Wade Allen (pastor of Temple, Rogers) whom the body elected last year. The alternate speaker is Wyndell King (pastor of Oak Grove, Jonesboro).
Last year, the meeting was affected by COVID restrictions. While caution is urged this year, we will not be under a mask mandate.
CBC President Terry Kimbrow, Director of Church Relations Duffy Guyton and the staff of the college are making preparation to accommodate the messengers and guests attending the meeting this year. The college will again offer a lunch in the dining hall of the Mabee Center.
Ministry tables and other vendors were restricted last year, but this year we will once again have representatives with their tables throughout the Harold E. Cooper Complex.
The BMA of Arkansas is blessed to have the following ministries and we will hear reports from each during the course of the meeting: Central Baptist College, BMA Youth Department, BMA of Arkansas Missions and the Baptist Trumpet.
Your officers will meet in the coming weeks to finalize the schedule and other pertinent information. For the past 10 months, I have done my utmost to highlight the work of this association, and I have tried to encourage each church to do its best to be represented at the meeting this year.
We are in this together. Let’s gather together to encourage one another in the service of Christ as we look forward to His return.
Ark. Counties Pass Pro-Life Resolution
By Jerry Cox, President
On Sept. 20, the Saline County Quorum Court passed a resolution affirming that the county is pro-life, and on Sept. 21, the Faulkner County Quorum Court passed a similar resolution affirming that it is pro-life. Saline County is one of the largest counties in Arkansas. Resolutions like this one send a very powerful message about where the county stands when it comes to abortion and euthanasia. Faulkner County is the eighth in Arkansas to pass a pro-life resolution like this one.
The resolutions read:
Whereas, the Declaration of Independence declares that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including the right to life; and
Whereas, Amendment 68 to the Arkansas Constitution states that the policy of the State of Arkansas is to protect the life of every unborn child from conception until birth; and
Whereas, it is the duty of state and local governments to protect the unalienable right to life of every person within their respective jurisdictions;
Whereas, the United States Supreme Court stated in Poelker v. Doe, 432 U.S. 519 (1977), that the United States Constitution does not forbid a municipality, pursuant to democratic processes, from expressing a preference for normal childbirth instead of abortion;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the quorum court of Saline/Faulkner County, Arkansas:
Section 1. It is the policy of Saline/Faulkner County, Arkansas, to promote and protect the dignity and humanity of all persons at all stages of life from conception until natural death.
Section 2. Therefore, Saline/Faulkner County, Arkansas declares itself to be a Pro-Life County.
Earlier this year, the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 392 of 2021 affirming that municipalities in Arkansas can designate themselves as Pro-Life. So far, Washington, Benton, Crawford, Cleburne, Pope and Jackson counties have passed resolutions affirming that they are pro-life. Springdale passed a pro-life resolution in 2019, and Jonesboro is currently considering passage of a similar resolution.
Any city, town, or county in Arkansas can pass a pro-life resolution like the ones these municipalities have passed. If you would like to learn more about how you can pass a pro-life resolution in your community, give Family Council a call at (501) 375-7000.
Philippines Missionary Requests Help
By Jeff Herring
I have been in touch with Danny and Rita Ballard in the Philippines. They have been doing their best to continue to minster to the people of the Philippines that are facing hardship due to the current pandemic. One of the ways they have been doing this is by continuing to meet needs through the Relief Ministry. They recently had one lady accept Christ through this ministry.
Danny recently shared: “We would like to thank everyone who has been donating to the Relief Ministry. There are so many families that are going hungry every day due to the strict lockdown that is still in place in the area where we live. This ministry is designed to be the example of Christ to those around us by sharing His love and message with the relief bags of food and gospel tracts, as well as other information about how to become a believer and follower of Christ.”
Through the Relief Ministry, they have shared bags that included food for two weeks, gospel tracts and other information about the gospel and how to be saved. Family members would break into tears as they accepted the relief bags and tell them, “We didn’t think we would be able to eat anytime soon because we didn’t have any food left.” If you would like to donate toward future Relief Bag operations, you can send your donations to the missions office designated Danny Ballard/Relief bags.
One of the major immediate needs is for material to work with the children to which they have an opportunity to minister. As part of the Relief Ministry, they also share toys, crafts and the gospel message with children. They are in desperate need for things to put in each bag for each child. The Ballards are looking for the following items for this ministry:
• Leftover VBS materials or any leftover children’s ministry material for ages 1-15.
• Religious crafts (can be bought in bulk from Oriental Trading).
• Toys that are in good condition and cleaned up with Lysol (just not large toys).
• Coloring books
• Eight-pack crayons
• Squishy baby toys
• Balls to throw
• Anything that any child or adult has already, just have them clean them up and Lysol them and we will take them.
• If there are families that would rather donate money for someone there to purchase toys for the box, that would be great.
Once we have items collected, we will ship using a Balikbayan shipping service. The cost is approximately $100 per box with no weight limit. Shipping time is approximately 10 weeks, so we will need items collected quickly. If you or your church have any of these things you would be able to donate, please contact me ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 425-4781 to arrange pickup or drop-off at the Baptist Trumpet offices (10712 I-30, Little Rock, Ark. 72209). In order to have a chance for things to arrive in time for Christmas, we will need all items to be delivered by Oct. 8. If anyone would like to contribute to shipping costs or donate funds so things can be purchased directly in the Philippines, please let me know.
Mirasol (left) , whose husband passed away over a year ago from a heart attack, accepted Christ as her Savior after through the Relief Ministry. Pray she will be a witness to the rest of her family.
Champion Your Pastor
By Ronnie W. Floyd
The month of October is Pastor Appreciation Month. This is the time to champion your pastor.
Pastors are God-called servant-leaders who feed the people of God through the ministry of preaching the Bible and lead the people of God by providing spiritual oversight of the church. In his shepherding role, the pastor prays for the people regularly, and especially when they find themselves in a time of great need.
There is nothing like the pastor-church relationship. One of the more special relationships on this earth is the relationship between the pastor and the church he serves. Each week when he delivers the Word of God in an effective manner, the people receive the Word from their God-called pastor. No pastor is perfect. He knows it and his wife surely knows it; but through the ministry of preaching, the people learn to receive him as he is.
The pastor’s relationship with God’s people is taken to a more personal level when he celebrates in their successes and grieves with them in their losses. There is truly nothing like the relationship between a pastor and his church. Through these times, trust is built in his relationship be the people of God. Living life together with God’s people and worshipping the Lord with them weekly is, for the pastor, indescribable.
Regardless of the size of your church, the length of time the pastor has served, or whether the relationship is healthy or not, honoring your pastor is the right thing to do. He is not an idol. He is a man. He needs you. You need him. Here are a few ways to honor and encourage your pastor:
• Recognize the pastor and his family one Sunday in October in a public manner. Honoring your pastor and his family is more about honoring the calling of this gift to your church given to you by the Holy Spirit. Make them feel special. Verbally recognize them in an encouraging way. Whether by video or in person, have two to three church members bless them publicly.
• Give the pastor and his family a special gift this October. It is not about the amount of the gift you give; it is about making them feel special and appreciated. Because of the current pandemic, this has been a difficult season for every pastor and his family. Blessing them with a special gift says thank you in a respectable way. In whatever you do, do it in a generous way. Honor those to whom honor is due.
• Pray for the pastor and his wife in a prevailing way one Sunday morning in October. Plan a focused prayer time in a worship service one Sunday morning. Have the pastor and his wife come before the church for an intentional time of prayer for each of them. Give five to ten minutes for this prayer time. You could have the men come to pray for the pastor and women come to pray for the pastor’s wife. You could have two to four people publicly call out to God in prayer while those gathered around them, as well as the church, agree in prayer. Praying for the pastor and his wife demonstrates your faith in the Lord alone who will use them, anoint them and empower them to serve with faithfulness.
• Present the pastor with the special blessing of 31 members who will own one day a month in October, specifically praying for him and his ministry to the church. In the assigned day of the month, whether it be Day 1 or Day 16, this is your day to focus your prayer upon him and his ministry to the church. Write him a note or send him a text asking him for three specific prayer requests for himself, his family, and/or the church. Whatever his burdens are, you are there to pray him through.
One Sunday morning about 25 years ago, 31 men walked into a private prayer room during my regular prayer time with men from our church. A spokesman for them said, “Pastor, we are giving you a special gift today. Each of us will pray and fast for you one day each month. Here is a commitment we are making to you.” They presented me with a framed commemorative letter that had each of their names on it. This is one of the greatest gifts I ever received.
Friends, champion your pastor. Love him. Honor him. Respect him. Pray for him. Bless him. Do this daily throughout the year, not just in October.
By Erik Holth
• Conway, Sept. 23 — Returning to the court for the first time in nine days, CBC took on the Bobcats of College of the Ozarks at A. R. Reddin Fieldhouse. CBC (2-3) used strong offense and outstanding defense to secure a 3-1 victory over C of O (6-6) by scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-18 and 25-22. The win over C of O was the first ever for the Mustangs, who hit the ball well again. The Mustangs had 75 points in the match compared to just 51 for the Bobcats.
• Batesville, Sept. 25 — Molly Murphy set a new record and Kylee Sabella had a huge afternoon for CBC at Becknell Gymnasium in the American Midwest Conference (AMC) opener for CBC and the Lyon Scots. The Mustangs (3-3, 1-0 AMC) won 3-1 by scores of 25-14, 25-27, 26-24 & 26-24 over Lyon (9-8, 0-1 AMC).
• St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 25 — Erica Hawkins’ brace lifted CBC to victory over the Eutectics of the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis in the AMC opener for the Mustangs at St. Mary’s High School. Hawkins scored the first goal and the game winner to give CBC (2-7, 1-0 AMC) a 3-2 win over UHSP (1-5-1, 0-2 AMC).
• St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 25 — Looking to equal their win total from last year and win their fourth match in a row for the first time in four years, CBC was on the pitch today at St. Mary’s High School for their AMC opening match against the Eutectics of the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis. CBC (4-6, 1-0 AMC) scored three goals in each half and cruised to a 6-1 win over UHSP (2-4, 0-2 AMC).
October Stampede Days
On Wednesday, Oct. 20, CBC will hold our first Stampede Preview Day of the year. Preview Days are designed for prospective students and their guests to see what makes Central Baptist College unique. You will have multiple opportunities to meet with faculty and staff during the day. Information will be shared throughout the day about financial aid opportunities and expectations, weekly chapel services and spiritual life programming and academic departments. Upon request, Athletic and Music tryouts can also be arranged in advance with the specific coach or music director. Attendees will be able to meet CBC President Terry Kimbrow, as well as other administrators, and lunch will be provided. The event begins at 10 a.m. and wraps up around 2 p.m. Save the date for our next Preview Day, scheduled for Nov. 10.
To sign up or learn more about Stampede Preview Days, and all our campus visit options, go to cbc.edu/visit. Contact Admissions at email@example.com or (501) 329-6873 with any questions.
You may have noticed that our website looks a little different. If you have not noticed, then you need to visit cbc.edu. A website is one of the most important tools for any organization or business, and it’s no less important for colleges. Our goal with the redesign was to provide a user-friendly experience. It was built with prospective and current students in mind. The following are some of the features you will notice, along with a more intuitive layout:
• New student portal, a one-stop-shop for everything a current student needs to access.
• A collapsible menu and a quick links box that allows you to maintain your spot on the current page but still direct you to a specific page.
• An enhanced site search feature in the header to find items that are not as obvious to locate.
• Main navigation buttons on each page for easy location of main items.
• Better use of pictures and videos to tell of the values and mission of the college.
We hope you find our new design easy to use and informative. If you know of a prospective student, please share the new cbc.edu with them today!
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BMA of Arkansas Youth Department
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Connecting With God: A Must for Ministry
There are a lot of important things that you must do in ministry, but at the top of any list is having a regular time of connecting with God. In student ministry, we are the doers of the church. We seem to always have a task to complete, an event to plan and a strategy to implement. While all those things may be important, they pale in comparison to our greatest responsibility — connecting with God through the Word and prayer.
If we want to be effective in ministry over the long haul, we must spend time with God and teach out of the overflow. It has been said that “We can never take someone somewhere we have never been.” I agree with that wholeheartedly. Our students need to know that we have spent time with the Father. They need to see the honest joy and renewal that comes with moments of reflection in the Word. Let’s encourage one another and invest the time into growing closer to Jesus. If you are serious about getting into the Word, here are four simple steps to get you started:
• Have a method. While I am a big fan of the SOAPing method of Bible Study, it may not be for you. I love its simplicity. It approaches the Word by having you look at Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is not complicated, but you may already have a method that is working for you. A method means you are being intentional, so find one that works for you or keep searching if the first one isn’t the right one.
• Have a place. Bible study and prayer need to be a time alone. Now, you may have to be alone in a crowd like a coffee shop, but wherever you choose, it should be a place where you can separate yourself with God. We want to hear as He speaks to us through His Word. Your place might be a chair, a porch or an office. Wherever that is, make it special.
• Have a routine. Anything you are looking to make into a regular part of your life requires a routine. Those routines turn into habits, and the habit of diving into God’s Word can change your life. It might be first thing when you wake up. It might be at the end of your day. Whenever you choose, be consistent.
• Have a people. It is important that you have an accountability group as you dive into God’s Word. It would be great to even meet with them around the things that you are studying; but if that isn’t possible, it is important to simply have a group that will call you out when you aren’t studying the Word. I have some guys like that in my life, it is making all the difference.
Connecting with God happens when we are alone with Him as we study the Word. However, it also happens as we gather. God made us for community, and we can connect with Him as we connect with others. Let me encourage you to be intentional as you take steps toward deepening your relationship with the Father. You won’t regret it, and it can make a big difference in your ministry.
Stand Firm & Live Epic
Helping you navigate such a time as this.
By Jake McCandless
firstname.lastname@example.org • standfirmministries.com
You’ve Held the Rope
You need to be commended. Likely, each one of you reading this needs to be thanked because you’ve held the rope.
One of the major lessons I’ve learned in speaking and writing on the topic of standing firm since 2014 is that our churches are full of faithful believers like you who are standing firm — who have stood firm. Our churches exist and have continued because faithful believers have stood firm. Our association, our mission endeavors, our publications, our colleges, our seminary and our events have endured because faithful believers stood firm.
Before beginning to pastor again at Epic in Springdale, I was in at least a couple churches a week. I went to preach and challenge the congregations to commit to stand firm, but I began to realize nearly every church I walked into was dealing with intense discouragement. You could feel the distraught in the air, and it leaked unintentionally from each conversation. I sat across from pastors at dinner tables who were down and tired. Attendance was down. Commitment was scarce. Many of those churches were excited that I brought my kids because they were the first kids they’d had in their church in a long time. They longed to see young couples. Finances were tough, and the outlook didn’t look good. This was the pattern that repeated itself.
My message was understood — for the congregation had seen firsthand the devastation of people not being committed, but on the other hand I was preaching to the choir. Those in attendance were standing firm.
I eventually changed my message. I began not calling the church to faithfulness but commending them for their faithfulness. Though the church’s outreach and future may have seemed bleak, those who were persevering in the discouragement and frustration were a bright spot. They were persevering. They were enduring. They were staying strong. They were being faithful. They were pleasing the Lord. They were holding the rope.
Now, following the repercussions from COVID-19, the attendance numbers and financials are even more gloomy, but you’re persevering. You’re enduring. You’re staying strong. You’re being faithful. You’re pleasing the Lord. You’re holding the rope.
You’re standing firm.
Jake is available for revivals and preaching learn more at standfirmministries.com.
Healthy Church Solutions
Who Me Insecure?
Ministry has been glamorized by some, especially those who are idealists by nature. The ministry often begins with dreams, goals, values and aspirations that are noble and genuinely motivated by a desire to make a difference for Christ. What happens when your idealism collides with the reality of the battle you find yourself in? One pastor commented, “Now I was responsible for a ministry, and my insecurities surfaced. In fact, they intensified. I wanted to please God and do well, I knew I couldn’t because I was afraid of people.” The reality of ministry is that we are called to a task that is beyond our capabilities!
God does not operate according to the world’s thinking of only working through our strengths. He utilizes our strengths because He made us in His image and hardwired each one of us for His purposes. However, rather than only accentuating our strengths, God strengthens those who have surrendered to Him. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, said it this way: “Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.” God does not throw away our strengths, but He also works through our weaknesses, which are many. Are you willing to surrender your insecurities to Christ?
Leadership must begin with the leader building and sustaining an intimate daily relationship with Christ. You must know yourself to lead yourself, and you must lead yourself to lead others into becoming more like Christ. In What Really Matters, Bill Wellons challenges us to be inside out leaders. He states that one of our greatest threats is our unwillingness to face our insecurities. That scares us because spiritual leaders are supposed to have it all together, all the time. That is not reality, and Bill states this speaking of leaders, “Defensiveness is often their self-protecting response to keep from facing weakness.”
Call it what you want ¾ insecurities, fears, weaknesses or any other descriptor ¾ but the truth is that we all have them. In The 100X, Leader Kubicek and Cockram state, “What is true with climbing is true with leadership and life — the higher you climb, the harder it gets and the more you must understand yourself.” A spiritually healthy leader will remain open to self-examination and honesty in their struggles, weaknesses, tendencies and insecurities. God created us with a particular DNA and we all have certain tendencies. That is why we must remain open to examination by the Holy Spirit (Psa. 139:23-24).
Once again from The 100X Leader, “We all have certain tendencies that create patterns of actions and behavior that generate consequences that ultimately shape our current reality.” Your tendencies will always be present because that is how God hardwired you. Whether you are extroverted or introverted, task oriented or people oriented, a deep thinker or more a feeler, slow to decide or quick to pull the trigger, or prone to be over-confident or prone to be insecure, are your tendencies in your life producing the results you desire? How often have our hasty decisions and quick temper generated undesired consequences?
In our coach training one acronym we like to use is GROW:
You begin in coaching others by checking in on their Goals. You seek to help them gain clarity on how they want to move forward.
Then you focus on their Reality. These first two components are so important in self-awareness. What are you needing to work on, and how will you move forward? The reality check requires honesty, transparency and outside eyes to give you perspective. Are you correctly assessing your situation? If you are unhappy with your outcomes and consequences and you desire to produce a different reality, it is time to change.
Now you should focus on your Options. This might be my favorite, and the most important. Because of our insecurities, we often think there are no options except quitting, giving up, moving on or just accepting the status quo but, because Jesus is on His throne, there are always options. What possible courses of action and next steps are available as we trust in the power of God to strengthen us and move in our midst? Your tendencies may never change because of who you are, but they can be overcome. God has promised that He will complete the work He began in you.
Consider getting a coach (and everyone should have one), but you can also coach yourself by asking, “What should I do next?” Do you have the Will, and do you know the way to move forward? Once you have clarified what needs to be done, that is not enough. Now you must commit to do what is necessary. Even in reading and studying the Scripture you observe and interpret, but the journey is not complete unless you apply. It is not only what God is showing you but also what He is wanting you to do about it? If you are struggling with insecurities, be open and honest about it. Then place your trust in Him to give you the grace you need to press forward in the calling He has placed upon you.
You say, “I am not capable of carrying out that calling!” Exactly! Lauren Daigle’s song, “You Say,” reminds us: “I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough. Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up. Am I more than just the sum of every high and low, remind me once again just who I am because I need to know.” The answer? A child of the most high God called to carry out His mission with the promise of His presence and His power!
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Larry barker, Director of Operations North America
BMA of America Missions Department
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Opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the churches of the BMA.
Journey with Jeff
By Executive Editor
I have really enjoyed getting to visit with so many people as I attend the local association meetings throughout the state. There are so many friends I have known for a long time and others that I get to meet. Either way, it is great to hear of everyone’s love for the Trumpet and the important job it does to keep them informed about what is happening in the BMA.
Once concern that I seem to hear discussed at many of these meetings is the lack of involvement by many churches that are members of their association. This is a burden for me and for this ministry, because the less involvement on the local level will translate into less involvement on the state and national level. The ministry of the Baptist Trumpet is tied directly to the association of our churches. We exist to be the information source for what is happening in the BMA of Arkansas and beyond.
My concern is that the lack of interest from these churches and their pastors to be involved in our associational work will lead to a continual decline in the strength of our associational work. I know BMA of Arkansas President Tom Mitchell has down his best to remind all of over the past 18 months about the legacy of our associational work and has challenged everyone to make it a point to do your part as a member of the association.
I would challenge everyone that is reading this, from the pastor to the person in the pew, to do everything in your power to make sure your church is involved and participating in your association! The purpose of coming together is so that we can do more for the glory of God! Won’t you step up and do your part?
By Executive Editor Jeff Herring
Down Syndrome Father Fired from White House Disabilities Council
President Biden fired the father of a Down syndrome teen from a presidential advisory council on disabilities. Biden is clearing federal advisory councils of all members appointed by his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, including Down syndrome advocate Kurt Kondrich, who together with his daughter, Chloe has promoted bi-partisan legislation to help parents welcome children with Down syndrome.
The Kondrichs are widely recognized for their substantial work in promoting and protecting the human rights of children with Down syndrome, including Chloe’s Law, a 2014 Pennsylvania law that requires doctors to provide scientific data to expecting mothers whose unborn child may have Down syndrome.
Kurt Kondrich received an appointment to serve on the Presidential Commission for Persons with Disabilities by President Trump in November 2020 for a two-year term. Kondrich received the demand for his resignation in a Sept. 2 email signed by assistant to the president and director of White House personnel Catherine Russell. It asked for Kondrich’s resignation by close of business and stated that if he failed to do so he would be terminated at 6 p.m.
Presidential advisory council terminations by the Biden administration are unprecedented. Previous presidents have always allowed appointees from previous administrations to carry out their terms to conclusion. The councils are non-partisan and do not have any executive power, only an advisory role.
Kondrich left a 20-year career as a Pittsburgh police officer after his daughter Chloe was born with Down syndrome. Since then the father-daughter team has worked to help dispel the myths surrounding the quality of life for children with Down syndrome. “Our world needs more people with Down syndrome”, said Kondrich. “They are kind and gentle and live happy and fulfilled lives.” (lifenews.com)
Texas Abortion Ban
Brings Death Threats
An abortion activist has posted an online threat to kill the pro-life Texas lawmakers who voted for the state’s abortion ban. There have been a host of threats directed to pro-life elected officials, pro-life Texans and pro-life groups since the state’s abortion ban went into effect three weeks ago, including a bomb threat that brought out police to the headquarters of a local pro-life group. Here’s more about the death threats:
On Sept. 21, law enforcement alerted members of the Texas Legislature about “a credible threat” to their safety, citing that the concern was targeted at members who voted for the new six-week abortion ban passed by lawmakers earlier this year. In an email to lawmakers, Kevin Cooper, the Department of Public Safety’s chief of government relations, said the agency had received “a credible threat to your safety from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a majority of you in the Texas Legislature.” Cooper said in a follow-up email that the threat “only applies to those members who may have voted for” the abortion bill that passed as Senate Bill 8 during the regular legislative session that ended in May.
The threat was apparently made on Reddit and included the names of House and Senate members who voted for the legislation. The user threatened to “end each one of you” and said the lawmakers at hand “are not people to me.”
It was unclear whether a credible threat meant that lawmakers involved were in imminent danger. A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement to The Texas Tribune that it “takes all matters of personal security and public safety very seriously and we do not discuss details of ongoing threats and investigations.”
Texas Right to Life was forced to evacuate its Houston headquarters earlier this month over a bomb threat. They called local authorities around 10:15 a.m. Sept. 10 after receiving an emailed bomb threat. When police arrived on the scene to report the threat, a postal worker delivered a suspicious package. Officers immediately evacuated the building and called the Houston Police Department’s bomb squad. The bomb squad evaluated the package with an x-ray and determined the contents were not harmful. Police officials said the bomb threat qualifies as a “terroristic threat,” a criminal offense which can earn a sentence of up to a $4,000 fine and nearly a year in jail. (lifenews.com)
Members of Congress
On Sept. 21, almost 65 members of Congress called for an investigation into allegations that aborted babies may be being born alive and their organs harvested for scientific research through a taxpayer-funded project at the University of Pittsburgh.
The university is facing growing scrutiny after Judicial Watch and the Center for Medical Progress exposed evidence of babies potentially being born alive in abortions and other disturbing practices at the university. The evidence came from documents they obtained from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through a Freedom of Information Act request.
U.S. Rep. Lisa McClain, a Michigan Republican who helped craft the letter, said she was disgusted when she learned about the allegations earlier this summer.
The letter is addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins. Lawmakers asked the Biden administration leaders to conduct a full investigation into the University of Pittsburgh’s GenitoUrinary Developmental Molecular Anatomy Project (GUDMPA), which received at least $1.5 million in taxpayer funding.
The program involves obtaining kidneys, bladders and other organs from aborted babies for scientific research, according to government documents. In its funding application to the federal government, the university said it wanted to become a “tissue hub and collection site” for “fetal tissue,” meaning aborted baby body parts.
In their letter Sept. 21, the lawmakers expressed numerous concerns about the university project, including the possibility that abortions may be being altered illegally for the sole purpose of harvesting aborted babies’ organs and that babies may be being born alive in some cases.
Earlier, the Center for Medical Progress and several doctors, including one who supports abortion, pointed to documents and statements from university officials that suggest some aborted babies’ hearts still may be beating when their organs are harvested for scientific research.
In August, a University of Pittsburgh spokesman called the allegations “irresponsible and false” in a statement to Fox News. He said the university and its partners comply with all laws, and the university itself does not perform abortions.
But the university has been using Americans’ tax dollars to pay for its “tissue hub” for aborted baby body parts for years. According to the documents obtained by Judicial Watch and the Center for Medical Progress, the university requested $3.2 million over a five-year period in 2015, and it has received at least $2.7 million so far.
In grant application documents provided by the federal government, the University of Pittsburgh mentions “labor induction” as a “procedure that will be used to obtain the tissue,” according to the Center for Medical Progress.
Labor induction abortions are basically what they sound like; the abortionist typically injects the poison digoxin into the unborn baby’s heart and then induces labor so that the mother gives birth to her dead baby’s body. This method is used in later second and third trimester abortions.
If digoxin is not used — and the Center for Medical Progress found that scientists want “fetal tissue” without digoxin because the poison interferes with their research, there is a chance of the baby being born alive. One study estimated up to 50% of labor-induction abortions without digoxin can result in an infant born alive. (lifenews.com)
Josh McDowell Steps
Away from Ministry
Prominent Christian author and apologist Josh McDowell announced that he will step away from his ministry work and speaking events for the time being after making controversial remarks about minorities and education. In a statement posted Sept. 22 to his Twitter account, the 82-year-old said that the backlash from his recent comments at the American Association of Christian Counselors conference on Sept. 18 led him to conclude that he had to step away from his ministry efforts for a time.
“It has become clear to me, along with Cru leadership, that I need to step back from my ministry and speaking engagements to enter a season of listening and addressing the growth areas that I have become aware of through this,” stated McDowell, who has authored and co-authored over 150 books. “During this time of meeting with others and learning, I hope to personally grow and better understand how I can help contribute to the reconciliation and unity that God desires for us all.”
McDowell added that his organization, Josh McDowell Ministry, will continue to operate, but its daily work will be overseen by CEO Duane Zook.
While speaking at the conference, he criticized critical race theory. McDowell claimed that most African American and other racial minority families do not emphasize the importance of education to their children. “I do not believe blacks, African Americans, and many other minorities have equal opportunity. Why? Most of them grew up in families where there is not a big emphasis on education,” stated McDowell at the weekend gathering.
“You can change the world. If you work hard, you will make it. So many African Americans don’t have those privileges like I was brought up with.” In his statement Sept. 22, McDowell called his remarks “wrong” and caused “deep pain.”
McDowell issued an apology soon after his speech in which he admitted that his comments were a “generalized statement that does not reflect reality.” “I apologize and reiterate my Christian love for all races, nationalities and people groups,” he stated. “My desire is that we as Christians would deal with both racism and inequality as the sins that they are in order to restore the unity that God desires for all.” (christianpost.com)
Reading and Writing in Rizal
BY: Enrico Pillizar
I am Pastor Enrico G. Pillazar from Balayan, Batangas, Philippines. I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1984 and was later baptized on June 7, 1985. Several days after I was baptized, on June 17, 1985, our senior pastor took me to Quezon City to study at a Bible institute. In 1987, after I graduated from the Bible institute, I began to serve the Lord in a mission to the Mangyans in the mountains of Calavite, Occidental Mindoro. In addition to the missions in Batangas and Mindoro, I was also able to help with missions in several other areas of the Philippines. In 1999, by God’s grace I married my wife, Elizabeth. The Lord has blessed us with two children, Shekinah Faith and Adams Matthew.
After serving in missions in many different provinces of the Philippines, my family and I are currently serving at Baptist Missionary Mission Southville Montalban in Rodriguez, Rizal. As of July 30, 2021, we will have been serving here for one year.
Currently, we have three Bible studies in different areas, two children’s evangelism ministries, and a new children’s ministry in the next village where three of our youths who live there teach the children. In our youth department, we encourage them to get engaged in various roles like leading in prayer, being a scripture reader, serving as a song leader or guitarist, or teaching children’s Sunday school. In our children’s ministry, in addition to teaching them Bible stories and verses, my wife teaches the children how to read and write. I thank the Lord that even through a pandemic we have been able to hold regular Sunday services and prayer meetings, except during quarantines where we were prohibited from meeting in person.
Ministry has been challenging for us since arriving here. Just as with any new location, we must determine the best way to share the gospel. The people in this area have many different beliefs and thoughts about God and how to get to heaven. By God’s grace, we pray and trust in His leading as we obey and share the gospel as best as we can. Pray for the believers who follow and serve our Lord Jesus Christ that they will grow as they are discipled, that they will be able to plant new churches, and that they will be able to conduct Bible studies in the areas where they work. Pray for the gospel to be shared to all those around us.
I thank the Lord and the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) of America for this wonderful opportunity to share the ministry we have been blessed with here in the Philippines. I hope that all of us will be able to reach more people and plant more churches all over the world so that the gospel is heard by all.
Children Without a Childhood
BY: Nestor Vibas
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ who continues to show us extraordinary favor. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) of America for giving us this opportunity to share our ministry with everyone, for visiting us through BMA teams, and for helping us during the 2020 lockdown. By the grace of God we were able to share some goods with the community in our mission field during the lockdown.
Baptist Missionary Church—Upper Pintor is located in Sitio Pintor, San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal, Philippines. Upper Pintor Church is a daughter church of Baptist Missionary Church—Pilot. The mission church was started in 2015 through a Bible study.
I am Nestor R. Vibas, Jr. I am 27 years old. I serve as a mission worker in Baptist Missionary Church—Upper Pintor under the supervision of Pastor Vincent Ferrer our senior pastor and association church planter. I visit the mission twice a week. I go to the mission Saturday early in the morning and I return home every Sunday after Sunday services are finished.
Upper Pintor is spread around the entrance to Rizal Provincial Sanitary Landfill. The people living here are squatter families, living in shanties made from whatever items they can salvage from the dump. They don’t have electricity, water, or sanitation; and the only occupation in this place is scavenging.
Transportation is another problem we face in Upper Pintor. There are times that we need to hitchhike rides on a garbage truck. It is very challenging for us. And because of the lack of transportation, it is very challenging for the children in Upper Pintor to go to school.
Because of these living conditions, nearly all the children in this place have no proper education and teenage pregnancy is very common. The average age for a girl to get pregnant here is somewhere around thirteen or fourteen years old. These young girls are unprepared for motherhood and rely upon their own mother when they become a mother.
Seeing these situations is heartbreaking; but we have hope that through God’s grace they can receive a proper education. Hardly any child can enjoy their childhood. Starting at a young age, children babysit their younger brothers and sisters because their parents need to scavenge in the dumpsite. Other children help their parents collect junk materials. Because of this, these children can’t go to school to study or play.
Our mission, by the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ, is to share the love of God through His Word with the people of Upper Pintor. We strive to help them to dream big and to finish their studies. And we pray for them to be successful followers of God someday.
Every Saturday morning, we host a children and young teens fellowship. The children’s fellowship is for children ages five through twelve. We begin with a greeting, followed by prayer, songs, games, a Bible story, activity, more songs, and a closing prayer. The young teen’s fellowship is for teenagers from thirteen to sixteen years old. This fellowship also begins with a greeting, followed by singing, Bible study, and a closing song. During the Bible study portion, we teach them Bible principles and we provide godly advice to help them to dream big.
Our Sunday services begin at 9:30 in the morning.
Our dream is to continue serving the Lord in this place and to share the gospel with everyone. We want the children in this place to be able to go to school and to be faithful followers of God.
Please pray for the people of Upper Pintor. Pray that they can be free from poverty; pray that they can go to school; and most of all pray for more souls to be saved in this place. God bless us all.
A Challenge to Commit
to Missions Philippines
BY: Alfred Suico
The Bible clearly commands us as Christians to do missions. Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” In response to Christ’s command, God impressed upon my heart the desire to commit to missions. I am currently working on a mission here in Leyte in Tigbawan, Maasin City.
Barangay Tigbawan is home to the mission work. It began as a children’s outreach program during the late 1990s. This work was continued through the years by different pastors. For several years Bible studies had been done in Tigbawan as pastors from neighbouring churches came to visit and help the ministry. Those who benefited from the children’s outreach program were encouraged to join in the Bible studies with their whole family. This served as a way to bring people to God. From its inception in 1998 until 2018 no regular Sunday church services were held due to a lack of workers. This changed in January of 2019.
My name is Alfred Suico, Jr. I am a sinner saved by grace and called by the Lord to serve Him as a missionary here in Tigbawan. God used missionary Stan Scroggins to encourage me and to plant a vision and desire in my heart to do missions. I came here on January 4, 2019, and am currently serving as the missionary pastor of New Testament Tigbawan Baptist Mission.
When I first started the work here in 2019, I initially came to serve just for the first four months. However, God had other plans for me. His Spirit worked quickly and efficiently on the people here, and I saw 19 people baptized that same year. God wasn’t done yet though. He used our sister church, New Testament Baptist Church in Sullivan, Missouri, to provide for roofing renovations on our church building. God has blessed the people here in Tigbawan. We celebrated our first mission anniversary and held a thanksgiving celebration on December 22, 2019. What began as a short-term missions project has continued for the past two years for me.
We are still working to make progress on our church building, using the little that we have and relying on God’s provision. In 2020, we saw God work in more lives. The initial 19 people who were baptized invited others to church and won more for Jesus. As a result, we now have many people who are interested in Christ attending our church. During 2021, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, God is still moving and making ways for the church to grow through our discipleship program. This program is geared toward candidates for baptism. Our building also continues to see improvements due to God’s provision.
Our prayer is that the Lord will continue to bless the mission work, the people, and also the workers of God. This coming December 22, 2021, we will be celebrating our third mission anniversary. At the same time, we will hold our Thanksgiving celebration. We are also hoping to finish putting tiles on our building. We covet your prayers for the mission work here in Tigbawan. I also want to personally extend my gratitude to Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) Missions for their support and love, and for their partnership in the mission.
Acts 20:24 says, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Mission work is tough, especially for a young missionary (I am only 23 years old). But it is not impossible because we have a God who works the impossible.
I want to finish with a challenge to anyone who might be reading this. Let us go for God. Committing to missions is hard; Christ did not promise us a life free from troubles. However, in the middle of trials, He is there to help us through them. Will you be like the prophet Isaiah who responded to God’s call? “Here I am, send me.”
If you want to read more updates for the mission work here, you can add me on Facebook (Alfred Jay-R Suico) or like our Facebook page (New Testament Tigbawan Baptist Mission). Be our prayer partners in the ministry. To God be all the glory!
Lifeword Sunday Allows Lifeword to Reach The World
BY: Donny Parrish
70,000 people who live in groups unreached by the gospel die every day.
Let that sink in for just a second. 70,000 souls lost to eternity. The thought is really overwhelming, isn’t it? Millions of people entering eternity without the Savior. Millions destined to spend eternity tormented without ever having the opportunity to hear the saving message of Jesus. When we live in a day of such incredible communication opportunities the thought that anyone would die without having the opportunity to hear is a scandal of immeasurable proportions.
October 24, 2021 is Lifeword Sunday across the BMA. It is the one day of the year when Lifeword asks the church’s of our Association to take special time to pray for the ministry of Lifeword and to give so that others can know The Savior.
Lifeword is determined to answer the call of the Master. He very last words to His followers before He ascended to the Father were, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus met with all kinds of people during His ministry. He encountered Jewish people, Gentiles, Roman soldiers, prostitutes, tax collectors, men, women, couples, families, people possessed by demons, people with horrible diseases, and the list could go on. The ends of the earth to Jesus meant people. All people. People dealing with all sorts of hang ups.
Lifeword is reaching out to people all around the world. In fact, today Lifeword offers a gospel presentation in over 130 languages spoken around the world. Our goal is to be at 200 languages within the next five years and we are well on our way to reaching that goal. But more than just speaking into the heart language of people, Lifeword is interested in speaking their cultural language as well.
Through the use of social media, today’s version of the town hall, Lifeword is presenting the gospel right where people are living. With roughly 2.89 billion users monthly, Facebook is the biggest social media network in the world. In fact, if Facebook were a country it would be the largest country on the planet. During the first quarter of 2021, the company reported that 3.51 billion people were using at least one of the company’s core products, WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger each month.
Lifeword is leveraging the power and reach of social media to speak to people in their cultural language.
When radio was the primary source of information for the world and the best way to use media to reach the people of world, Lifeword was primarily a radio ministry. Today video has become essential. So, Lifeword has shifted gears and made video along with radio a primary communication tool. Through various programs in English and Spanish Lifeword is reaching into the cultures of America through video, radio and social media. We are expanding our video studios in Conway to produce more video content to impact different English speaking demographics. And we are training media missionaries around the world to use video and audio to reach their own people as well.
A great Lifeword Sunday response from BMA churches is essential to the success of the ministry of Lifeword. On October 24, Lifeword is asking each church in the BMA to give a one time special offering so that others can hear the message of salvation. To register for Lifeword Sunday visit us at www.lifeword.org/lifewordsunday. There you will also find a promotional video to show to your church family , bulletin inserts and Lifeword Tshirts to help your church family celebrate the day.
Steps to Take if Your Personal Information is Compromised
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning Arkansans about the dangers of personal information being compromised. More and more, Arkansans’ personal information is requested to make an online purchase or sign up for a subscription. This can include “fun” quizzes or surveys on social media inviting participants to share the name of a first pet, the street first lived on or the name of a favorite teacher. However, each time personal information is shared, it may be vulnerable, compromised or stolen. This simple act could be handing over sensitive information that can be used to steal an identity.
Arkansans should know what to do if personal information finds itself in the wrong hands. For instance, hackers have been known to infiltrate online businesses leading to data breaches, which can lead to private information being stolen and used for identity theft.
“Con artists will work overtime to steal your information and identity,” said AG Rutledge. “It is important Arkansans take the necessary steps to protect their personal information and privacy in the digital age.”
AG Rutledge released the following tips from the Federal Trade Commission for Arkansans who believe their information has been compromised online:
• Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. It’s easy, and it’s free.
• Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often. Contact your credit card or bank immediately if you notice errors or have concerns.
• Know your payment due dates.
• If a bill doesn’t show up when you expect it, look into it.
• Shred any documents with personal and financial information.
• Before making an online purchase, check out the company first. Read the reviews and Google the name of the company, along with the word “scam” or “complaint.”
• Resist the urge to take social media quizzes or surveys that ask you to share personal information.
• Report any lost, stolen or compromised identification cards to appropriate authorities, such as local law enforcement and the Arkansas Revenue office.
There are many options available to better protect personal information if there is concern that personal information has been compromised. For more information on preventing identity theft, please visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection page at ArkansasAG.gov or the Federal Trade Commission’s website (ftc.gov).
Committing identity theft in Arkansas is a felony and comes with a sentence that could include incarceration, fines up to $25,000 and restitution. For more information on other consumer-related issues, please contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982, by emailing OAG@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov.
Gospel Singing, Oct. 2, 6 p.m.; Church Quartet; no meal; Faustina, Hampton.
Pastor’s R & R, Oct. 7-9; $ 50 per person; Stoneridge Baptist Camp.
Cent. Ark. Dist. WMA, Oct. 9, 10 a.m.; North View, North Little Rock.
Mt. Vernon Dist. WMA, Oct. 9, 10 a.m.; Grace, Wynne.
CBC Singers, Nov. 14, 10:30 a.m.; Chenal Valley, Little Rock.
National Senior Adult Conference, Nov. 15-17; Chateau on the Lake, Branson, Mo.
Brought to you via www.lifeword.org
611 Locust Street, Conway, AR 72034 • 501.329.6891
Lying Down Doesn’t Equal Rest
By Katy McCown
We have this phenomenon happening in our house right now. Many nights, a guest shows up. Under a pitch black canopy and whir of the fan, the guest appears. One night I even felt fingers crawling up my arm. I jolted out of my sleep to see my daughter, nose-to-nose with me, looking for a place to lay her head. Most nights, she comes alone; sometimes she brings her brother along, too. But every night, whoever shows wants the same thing — that coveted spot in the bed between Mom and Dad.
Now I know many parenting books would scorn me and tell me to take the child back to bed. I’m not winning any mom-of-the-year awards here, nor am I encouraging you to mimic my actions. But I can’t help but notice, when we pull our kids up and place them between us, the cries that accompanied them into the room immediately cease.
I think they’re on to something. Our days are filled (like the hovering-at-the-rim-of-the-glass kind of filled) and one tiny bump will dump all our stuff overboard. We grind out every day, then meet the mattress late into the night, squeeze our eyes shut and hope we somehow wake refreshed and ready for another day. But really there’s no rest. Though our bodies posture horizontally for a short while, our souls still fret within us, restless.
My kids found their answer between Mom and Dad. No matter what concern stirred their soul in the dark, the presence of their earthly parents soothed it. Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28 NIV).
What if we arranged our lives in a way that ensured rest for our souls? What if, instead of scheduling six hours a night (on a good day) for physical rest, we scheduled every day to purposefully seek spiritual and mental rest?
It will take practice and self-discipline, but I believe it really is possible. The next time your thoughts begin to swirl, and you find yourself frantic, stop and consider. Where is your focus?
Where we fix our eyes will either distract us or direct us. If you’re like me, I fix my gaze not only on the task at hand, but also on the consequences that come with it. I run past the task and focus on the probable outcome of all that will go wrong if the task at hand does not go exactly right.
“...let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” (Heb. 12:1-2 NLT).
When we fix our eyes on the future, it alters our actions in the present. But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, we are free to approach each day with confidence and rest in what Christ did for us on the cross. And that, my friend, is the best rest ever. (katymccown.com)
10th Anniversary, Celebration, Haskell, Oct. 10, 9:30 a.m.; Darrin Smith (message); lunch provided; Allan Eakin, pastor.
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Trumpet Archives At
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10712 Interstate 30 • Little Rock, Ark. 72209 • (501) 565-0479
Mount Calvary — Oct. 2 at 9 a.m., Russell, Russell; Glen Shults.
Union — Oct. 3; 3:30 p.m. meeting; 6 p.m., worship service; Bodcaw#1, Bodcaw; Larry Byers.
Judson — Oct. 9 at 9 a.m.; Kingsland, Kingsland; Lance Hollis.
Central Ark. WMA – Oct. 9 at 10 a.m.; North View, NLR.
Mt. Vernon Dist. WMA, Oct. 9, 10 a.m.; Grace, Wynne.
Greenbrier — Oct. 10; 3:30 p.m., Missionary Committee; 4 p.m., general session; 6 p.m., message; New Home, Quitman; Tony Crocker.
Harmony — Oct. 10 at 6 p.m.; Central, Ashdown; Don Emory.
Jonesboro — Oct. 16 at 10 a.m.; Cathedral, Jonesboro; Mitch Doss.
Arkansas Prairie — Oct. 22-23; 7 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday; Sunnyside, DeWitt; Robert Wade.
Howard — Oct. 23 at 9 a.m.; Immanuel, Nashville; Jarod Hendry.
Mission team from New Harmony, Tyler, Texas with Ukrainian leaders
Nine Ways the Modern Worship Service Is Changing
By Aaron Earls, Senior Writer/Editor • LifewayResearch.com.
(Shared with permission from LifewayResearch.com) — In 1998, Netflix was only a year old and only offered DVDs by mail. In 2006, Apple was on the verge of introducing the world to the first iPhone. In 2012, the idea of at-home exercise changed with the founding of Peleton. Think how much the world has changed since the late 1990s; now, think about how much the average church worship service has changed in the same time frame.
The National Congregations Study (NCS) by Duke University has surveyed a representative sample of United States congregations in four waves — 1998, 2006, 2012 and 2018. The most recent release demonstrates the adjustments the average church has made to their worship service in the past two decades:
• More worship services at different locations. The NCS has demonstrated the rise of the multisite church. In 2012, the first year the study asked, 3.4% of congregations had weekly worship services at more than one location, and 10.3% of churchgoers were involved in such a church. By 2018, more than 1 in 10 congregations (10.6%) had worship services in multiple locations and were drawing 17% of U.S. churchgoers.
• Fewer services during the week. The percentage of congregations who say they held two or more services in a typical week declined in each survey wave, dropping from 72.8% in 1998 to 60.5% in 2018. Those who say they only have one service each week rose from 26.6% to 38.3%. The drop in multiple services may be attributed to non-Protestant congregations, as a 2018 Lifeway Research study found 9 in 10 Protestant pastors say their church has some form of Wednesday night activity.
• Fewer major differences in the worship services. In 2006, almost half of churches with multiple weekend services (47.9%) said there were “important differences,” like style of music, between those services. Now, 36.2% say that is the case. A 2018 Lifeway Research study also suggests churches have moved beyond the “worship wars,” as only 15% of Protestant pastors say the biggest challenge they face in the area of music is navigating the varying music preferences of members.
• Less traditional forms of worship. In previous decades, a common worship service would involve an organ accompanying a choir. Today, it may be a praise band with a drum and guitar. In 1998, 53.9% of churches had a choir singing in their worship service, and 53% used an organ. Now, 41.9% regularly use a choir with 46.8% using organ music. Meanwhile, use of drums has risen from 19.9% in the late 90s to 40.8% today. Specifically among Protestant congregants, Lifeway Research found praise teams (52%) outnumber choirs (33%).
• More languages in the worship services. While fewer churches have different services with significant changes overall, one type of worship service change has seen growth — Spanish or bilingual worship services. In 2006, 6.3% of churches held such services. By 2018, 1 in 10 churches in the U.S. had a Spanish or bilingual worship service.
• More diversity in the pulpit. Fewer churches are now led by white senior pastors compared to the late 1990s. In 1998, more than 3 in 4 congregations had a white pastor (76.9%). Now, that has fallen to 64.6%. The share of Hispanic pastors has grown from 1.8% to 5.2%.
• More age in the pulpit. Those leading the church have substantially more life experience now than two decades ago. The average age of a senior pastor has grown from 49 in 1998 to 57 today. This follows other studies which have indicated a graying of the pastorate and a growing inability of many denominations and congregations to draw younger leaders to the pulpit.
• More expressive worship. If worship services seem more animated today than 20 years ago, research indicates this is actually the case. Now, most worship services see someone raise their hands in praise (62.7%), compared to 44.6% in 1998. Also, 27.9% of services now include an adult jumping, shouting or dancing spontaneously. In 1998, that was the case in 19.2% of congregations.
• More technology involved. Churches are less likely to have a written order of service and more likely to use visual projection equipment compared to the late 1990s. Use of written service orders have declined from 72% in 1998 to 66% now, while use of equipment to project announcements or music lyrics has grown from 11.9% to 46%.
Lemonwood, Pine Bluff, Oct. 8-10; 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 11 a.m. Sun.; concert 1 p.m. Sun.; Jamie Coulter, evangelist; Ronnie Johnson, pastor.
Fairview, Jonesboro, Oct. 10-13, 10:45 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. Sun.; 6:30 p.m. Mon.-Wed.; Paul Vincent, evangelist; Gary Henderson, pastor.
Crossroads, Warren, Oct. 18-20; 7 p.m.; Aaron Maxwell, evangelist; Sidney McGraw, pastor.
First, St. Charles, Nov. 3-5; 7 p.m.; Luke Watson, evangelist; The Walker Sisters, music; Wayne McLean, interim pastor.
Send offerings to BMA Missions
P.O. Box 878 • Conway, AR 72033-0878
501.455.4977 • www.bmamissions.org
Larry & Tammy Wood • Ukraine
• New Harmony Mission Trip — On Monday evening, Aug. 23, a team of seven people from New Harmony Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas landed in Ukraine to begin a week of ministry. To say we were excited for them to come would be an understatement. This team came ready to work and serve, and they made a great impact on the people here in Lutsk and Volodymyr.
The team, led by Andy Slater, consisted of Richard and Stephanie Estes, Charles and Janice Attebery and John and Tina Koeshall. They hit the ground running by beginning English classes on Tuesday afternoon and evening. They also brought an exciting new ministry to Ukraine. Street Smart Defense is a great program that teaches people how to deter and disable an attacker and escape to safety. This training was very well received and is so needed. Unfortunately, Ukraine is a prime target for human trafficking and this training will give people the necessary tools to save themselves from a tragic situation. John and Tina Koeshall conduct the training and use the training to also present the gospel. Many who attended this training made further inquiries about Jesus and our church.
This wonderful team worked so hard and gave so much of themselves. We are so grateful they chose to come and work with us. They did more than work though; they encouraged us in so many ways. They also loved and encouraged our Ukrainian team.
Thank you to the whole team and to New Harmony for sending them. They made a lifelong difference in the lives of many!
• New Church News — It has been a busy summer for us here in Ukraine and we have experienced some great blessings over the past several weeks. We have begun work with a new church planter starting a new church here in Lutsk. This church will be located on the other side of the city near a university. One of the main ministries of this church will be to foreign university students. The desire is to reach them with the gospel and disciple them so they can return to their native country as missionaries. The name of the new church is yet to be decided. We had our first service together on Sunday, Sept. 13. Pray for pastor Yuri and his wife, Svitlana as they take this big step in following God’s direction. Pray for Tammy and me as we partner together with them to start a new church for God’s glory.
• Water of Life Family Camp — In mid-July, we left Lutsk for the Carpathian Mountains and Family Camp with Water of Life Church. We had 75 people come together for 4 days in the beautiful Carpathians for rest, relaxation and spiritual retreat. It was a great time of relationship renewal and building and studying God’s Word together.
Many of the members of Water of Life invited their family and friends who are non-believers. Because of the non-threatening atmosphere, people were able to let their guard down and listen to their friends and family tell about how God is working in their lives. On the last night of camp, we gave a very clear presentation of the gospel, and some responded favorably, saying they wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ. Some surrendered their life to Christ and are waiting for baptism. Water of Life now has about eight people waiting to be baptized. We had a baptism service and were able to baptize three of these people two weeks ago.
It is hard to believe Water of Life will be two years old this coming November. She is a strong, growing group of believers who continue to have a positive impact for Christ in our city.
• Thanks — Thanks is just not enough to express how we feel about what you do for us financially and in every way to make it possible for us to be here and serve in Ukraine. We count it a privilege and honor to be used of God in this way and want you to know that you have as large or larger part in this service. From our heart to yours, Thanks in a big way! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reports from the Churches
Center Point, Nashville received two by baptism; Jaron Tipton, pastor.
Landmark, England gained three new members since last report; David Inzer, pastor.
Oak Grove, Jonesboro reports one by baptism; Wynndel King, pastor.
Any active BMA military personnel is eligible to receive the Trumpet free. Please send their name, address or email address to P.O. Box 192208, Little Rock, Ark. 72219; or email@example.com.
“Undo” — A Key We All Need
By Robert Lopez • Baptist Press
At the beginning of the ‘80s when I started as a pastor, I used a classic typewriter that a member of my church gave me. I wrote my messages with the typewriter as well as the church bulletin, which I usually had to repeat multiple times because of the mistakes I made.
Later, I bought an electric typewriter that had a whiteout tape, which allowed me to correct my mistakes. But if you had seen it up close, you would have noticed that I frequently made mistakes.
As technology developed, I bought my first computer. It did not have a hard drive and was extremely slow. It had a new key that I did not know how to use at first, but I soon found the convenience of it — the “undo” key that allowed me to correct any error by clicking on it.
From that moment on, I felt more confident writing any documents because I knew that if I made a mistake, there was a key that would correct it and nobody would notice. “Undo” as one dictionary definition puts it, means to “cancel or reverse the effects or results of a previous action or measure.”
How good it would be if we all had a key like this in our own lives. Many times when I make a mistake or say something that I should not say, I think, “If I only had an undo key to correct the error.”
All of us make mistakes that are more serious than spelling errors or things we should not say. So it is important to discover that God Himself, before the beginning of the creation, had already thought of a way to help us to correct our mistakes.
As the prophet Micah declared, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19 NIV).
Those of us who believe and trust in Jesus have been granted a divine key that erases our mistakes: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isa. 43:25). That key activates the grace of God that has been revealed to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, once we admit that we have made a mistake. “Repent, then, and turn to God,” Scripture instructs us, “so that your sins may be wiped out....” (Acts 3:19).
We do not have to continue writing our lives on old typewriters with the fear of making a mistake in what we do or say. Our lives are written with the assurance that our sins are erased by the blood of Christ.
It was John the Baptist who said “...Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). The phrase “takes away” means “erase.” Jesus erases our sins and mistakes, and that’s better than any undo key ever invented. (bpnews.net)
Friday night, I was privileged to ride down to the South Arkansas association with two great companions — Trumpet Executive Editor Jeff Herring and CBC Director of Church Relations Duffy Guyton. We are truly blessed to have this quality of men in the BMA of Arkansas. After a good meeting and, of course something to eat, the Lord gave us safe passage back to Little Rock. We hope to do more of this carpooling in the future.
It was good to be back at Big Creek Valley Baptist Church south of Jonesboro. This church has always been mission-minded. The late Bill Gipson, missionary and pastor for decades, was a product of their ministry. What a wonderful legacy they are leaving behind for the rest of us.
A Turning Point
Michael Hight called me this week to share the results of a recent meeting with the Hispanic pastors in our area. He was delightfully encouraged by their desire to build a strong Hispanic work here in our state. He witnessed a willingness and desire to work more as a unit, with a desire to take a more active role in leadership. I personally want to thank those pastors for their service and love for lost souls.
From Our Missionaries
The Mustard Seed, Cain: Jim Tollison writes, “The Lord gave us another good day on Sunday. Our attendance wasn’t where we would like, but when is it ever enough?
“One of our mission families experienced the tragic loss of an extended family member. Please be praying for them in this time of sorrow.
“We had some of our folks we haven’t seen in a while back with us. We also had some other returning visitors. God is good.
“We believe God is going to use this mission to bring revival to Crawford County. We believe we are going to be a bright light shining at a dark time. Pray that we truly surrender to the hand of God.
“I am so thankful for folks like you praying for us. May God bless you in your work for Jesus.”
Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “Thursday night, we had a conversation with Jamin and Bessy. They wanted to dedicate their 14-month-old daughter, Maydee to the Lord. The meeting was a blessing, and we had a good time talking about the practical implications of the commitment they were about to make with God to bless the life of their daughter. (See photo from the dedication to the right)
“Sunday, we finished studying the Pauline epistles, with the last verses of II Timothy 4. The messages based on the books written by the apostle Paul have been very edifying for the church. Understanding God’s purpose for His church and how to administer it has been a great opportunity, for me especially.
“Now we are excited about our new series of studies based on Proverbs. Thank you for your prayers.”
Life Journey, Fort Smith: Darrin Smith writes, “In a couple of weeks, I will have the privilege of preaching at Celebration Baptist Church in Haskell. Ten years ago, because of your generous support, this mission was organized into a church.
“Just over 16 years ago, my family moved into the Benton-Haskell area to start a church. In August of 2004, we started in Benton. We had our first service Saturday, Sept. 25, 2004, in a rented building located on Military Road with 54 in attendance. Many were friends and family, but there were some that came who would later become members. In March of 2005, the Lord began to speak to me about moving the mission to Haskell, and in July of 2005 we began meeting there. Yes, looking back is great! Good times! I am really excited about being part of this homecoming.”
Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “On Monday, Sept. 20, I was at the First Baptist Church in Caldwell. It was a very busy day. I left my house at 7:20 a.m. and arrived back at 11 p.m. From morning to afternoon, we had Hispanic pastors meeting to nourish ourselves with the Word of God, and it was my turn to develop the theme ‘God in the life of the Apostle Paul.’ It was a blessing to see what God is doing in the Hispanic congregations in Arkansas. In the evening we had a Brotherhood meeting, dinner, fellowship with our American brothers, and then a united service with special participations. Each Hispanic pastor introduced himself and gave a short report of what God is doing in the Hispanic work. That night an offering was collected for the Hispanic work.
“Glory to God! In Ebenezer it was a week full of Berean Groups (cells). Saturday, we were finally able to start the youth group, and I was filled with joy to see two new young people arrive at a Christian church for the first time. They were excited to know the Word of God as, for the first time in their life, someone taught them the Bible in a creative way.
“Sunday, we met as usual in the temple at Chenal Valley Baptist Church. My wife, Kory, for the second Sunday, went out with the children at the time of the sermon to teach the children. That means the children are coming to the church. Brothers in Christ, thank you for your prayers, God is listening to the request of each one of us. Keep praying for God to introduce us to Hispanics who are thirsty for His Word. We want to invest the time in people in search of God. To God be the glory!”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “What a great day at Faith Chapel. We have told you about a member that has spent the last 13 weeks in the hospital, rehab and home health care. During that time, he suffered a herniated disc, kidney failure, liver failure, a blood infection, cellulitis, bleeding ulcers and COVID-19. Really! But because of the grace and mercy and awesome healing power of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, and in answer to yours and our prayers, he was able to return to worship this morning, praise God! What a time we had! We give God the glory for this healing. It is what we prayed for, and it is what happened. Thank You Lord for hearing our prayers and thank You for Your answers!
On top of that, a young family with three children that we met at an outreach event and had visited once came back and worshipped with us. They had been in quarantine for over a month. When we tried to follow up and call them, the phones did not work. It turns out they have a new number and were just waiting until they were okay to return. We had a blessed, spirit-filled service this morning, that’s for sure! Thank you for your prayers for us, and for joining with us in our prayers, God is answering them.”
The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “It has been a busy couple of weeks. We have had a couple of first-time guests visit with us the last three weeks. So far, no one has stayed, but we are so glad we are beginning to attract more people.
“We are doing a lot of work planning the November Conference. The meetings that this conference has created have been very helpful in advancing the gospel.
“We are praying that many will come to the conference and be able to hear about our church and the outreach we are doing into the community.
“Our baby is looking very healthy, and we are still projected for a Jan. 31 delivery of Foxlynn Jane Morris.”
By Mike McEuen, Pastor • New Beginnings • Ferris, Texas
“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus” (Philemon 6).
Philemon was very likely a wealthy Greek landowner living in Colossae. There is little doubt that Philemon was won to Christ through Paul’s ministry, possibly at Ephesus since Paul had never been to Colossae personally.
Onesimus was one of Philemon’s slaves who had apparently stolen from his master and run away to Rome. Through the providential leading of God, this runaway slave crossed paths with the apostle Paul, who led Onesimus to Christ!
Legally, Philemon could have had his slave killed for disobeying. But Paul stepped in to intercede for his new Christian brother and to seek to save his life. Philemon’s faith was not kept to himself. He shared it with others. That is “the communication of thy faith.”
Paul had been praying for Philemon, that his faith might “become effectual” and be a blessing to others. Paul identified Philemon’s sincere desire to share and to fellowship with others. Therefore, the message of the gospel needed to be real at all points. That would mean extending forgiveness to Onesimus.
This kind of forgiveness produces within us a faith that allows us to share with others the message of the gospel. How can we share the message of Jesus, “the forgiveness of sins,” if we cannot or will not forgive?
We are to offer to others what we have received ourselves. Philemon’s willingness to forgive Onesimus would be based on his knowledge of his own forgiveness. Paul reflected on Philemon’s kindness, love and comfort. He had opened his heart and his home to the local church. Now Philemon was going to face a serious test of his faith and love as he heard about the conversion of his slave, Onesimus.
Here’s a good place to pause and ask ourselves some questions: Are we forgiving saints? Do we bring blessing and encouragement to others? Is it possible that you have an “Onesimus” in your life? Is there someone who needs you to offer them forgiveness?
Sometimes this requires looking beyond the transgression to offer effective, active forgiveness and to offer others the rest and the peace that we have found in Jesus Christ.
Opportunities For Service
First Baptist Church of Bald Knob is seeking a full-time pastor. For more information, contact Danny Barnes at (501) 724-4177.
First Baptist Church in Palmer, Texas is seeking a pastor. Resumes may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 70, Palmer, Texas 75152.
Meadowside Baptist Church in Pittsburg, Kan. is seeking a full-time pastor. Contact Greg Hardister at (620) 704-6860.
“We Talkin’ About Practice!”
By Kerry Stitch
“Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:9 MSG).
Vince Lombardi is credited with the statement, “Practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.” Lombardi led the Packers to five NFL championships and victories in two Super Bowls. No doubt, his master’s degree in determination was evidenced in his locker room speeches and daily regimen of conditioning athletes to perform at the highest of levels individually and as a team. He knew practiced players mattered. Seasoned coaches know that players earn their trophies at practice. They just pick them up at competitions.
Philippians recorded this principle long before the first football crossed the goal line. Paul exhorted believers to choose intentionality as it pertained to a higher spiritual standard of action based on Truth. Just as a physician may possess a wealth of medical expertise, it is not until he puts it into practice that his wisdom serves others. People matter! Choices matter! How we choose to fill our days and respond to others are choices no one else can own. Note to self… never laugh at my husband’s choices; I am one of them!
Bad choices may make great stories, but good choices are a better investment. Paul’s wisdom was to guard your heart and mind. Don’t huddle up with worldly values and chaotic input. Don’t intercept false doctrine. Execute plays that enrich the highlight film of others. How? Go to God’s playbook. Choose the things of the Spirit — true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable and excellent fixtures. These will bring our minds peace and our bodies rest. Put them into practice and expect to be blitzed or sacked. Remember, you don’t have the home field advantage on earth. Suit up, take your position on the line, leave the smack talk at home and prepare for a winning season. Your Heavenly Coach has a perfect record and impeccable credentials. Hut, Hut… (Shared with permission via Antioch daily devotionals)
Dwight Icenhower, 77 of Nashville, passed away Sept. 26. He was a member of Center Point Baptist Church.
Troy William Skinner, 86 of Quitman, passed away Sept. 24. He was a member of Flat Rock Baptist Church.
Kathy Jo Williams, 68 of Jonesboro, passed away Sept. 24. She was a member of Temple Baptist Church.
Polly Owens, 64 of Jonesboro, passed away Sept. 20. She was a member of Cathedral Baptist Church.
James Freeman Shuffield, 90 of Benton, passed away Aug. 12. He was a deacon at Oak Park Baptist Church.