June 2016


Use missional responses on social media during political season


Just a cursory glance at social media will show you the political division that exists in our nation, communities, and even families. In recent days, every statement by a political candidate or pundit brings on either glorious cheers or vitriol hate by one side or the other. Not only do those emotions get turned on the candidates and their campaigns, often times they are aimed at friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites become verbal battlegrounds in the fight to get our point... [continue]

A new opportunity to share God’s word in Haiti


In Haiti, I met a “crazy” man – one for whom I had prayed to encounter.

We had been in clinic for two days, yet I had not had a single opportunity to share the Gospel with a person who did not know Christ. It bothered me so much that I asked my supervisor to explain the clinic tickets were allocated among the community. Why were we reaching only the believers in our efforts? 

For the most part, the decision was left to the pastors of the local churches; nonetheless, I found myself searching the word of God and praying earnestly for an... [continue]

My Personal Story of Transition to College


I was not ready for everything college had to offer. I think most college students can relate to this statement. We aren’t ready for the stress of a heavier workload, balancing a new schedule, or being more sleep deprived than we could ever imagine. However, I also wasn’t prepared for how good college would be.

A month before classes started, I dragged myself to sign up for classes at Grayson, the community college in my town. I had applied to other colleges, but none of them worked out for me financially, and I was not confident in what I... [continue]

Sharing the Gospel in Taiwan


Sunday nights in Taichung are my favorite. Along with my team and a full-time missionary, I get to walk through Bible stories that I've known since Sunday school with people across the Christian spectrum, from mature Christians to those who have never heard about Jesus.

Tonight, I was blessed to interact with one of the latter. Jason is an exchange student from mainland China and tonight was his first time to come to our meeting. One of his friends (also from China) has been coming for a few weeks and has been really curious about Jesus and decided to... [continue]

How to Give Up Your Kids


I have felt conviction in my life from many sins, but recently none more than idolatry. What is the object of my worship? Sadly, it is my children. There are three things I am trying to do in my life to “give up my kids.”

1. I need to change my prayer life. Honestly, when I think about how I pray for my kids, I see my problem. I pray things like, “Lord, help them make the team.” I feel like I decide what is best for my kids and then beg God to make it happen. I need to quit planning their life and then getting upset if something else happens. Why do I ever... [continue]

Texas Baptists welcome new church starter for North East Texas


DALLAS - Clay Jacobson has joined the Texas Baptists Church Starting staff as a new church starter for Area 4, covering North East Texas region from Dallas to Texarkana.

“I am very excited to have Clay join our team,” said Paul Atkinson, director of Church Starting. “He adds a dimension we need in perspective, training and passion for being a part of a church starting movement. I believe we will be able to push back the lostness of Texas with men like Clay on our team.”

Jacobson brings a well-rounded set of experiences,... [continue]

God’s hand at work in Seattle


I'm working with my team at Epic Life Church here in North Seattle. This week is our biggest week of the summer concerning the church because we're working an event called Celebrate North Seattle. This event has grown to over 2,500 attendees in past few years and it celebrates the achievements and businesses around the community. This is our major outreach event of the year. There have been countless hours worked over the last six months by the staff at Epic Life and we've been able to join in the process. Because this event is happening this Sunday, we're... [continue]

The End of an Era


Psalm 56:13 – You have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling that I may walk before God in the light of life.

As you are coming to the end of an era, the end of your high school career, I encourage you to reflect on God's faithfulness in the last few years of your life. I encourage you to reflect on the His presence in your life rather than the regrets that you have or the mistakes you made; focus on the light of life rather than the darkness and by this you will draw nearer to God.

During the periods in my life when I desire to be close to God, I feel... [continue]

Sharing the hope of Christ in East Asia


Walking down the city streets, I saw handicapped individuals selling lottery tickets and knock-off sunglasses to pay for their next meal. I saw a beggar crouched in the corner of a stairwell, his hands clasping a paper cup. I saw bald, orange-clad monks asking for food offerings for their monastery. I saw an old woman presenting drinks before a spirit house. I saw the most intricate and magnificent architecture constructed to honor an idol made by human hands. I saw graffiti on an overpass that read “Where is the hope?”

The people of this country... [continue]

Bye Bye, Bartlesville


BOUNCE Bartlesville is a wrap! We are so proud of the work our BOUNCERS have done this week. They have build wheelchair ramps, constructed decks, repaired roofs, installed siding, painted houses, and more. In just one short week, they have served Christ and been featured in a couple local media sources proclaiming His name.

It has been a great week here in Oklahoma. Thanks so much to everyone who was involved, adults and students alike. This would not be possible without the generosity of all the leadership who was devoted to serving the community and pouring into... [continue]

No Siempre es fácil discernir entre lo bueno y lo malo


Determinar lo que es malo (pecaminoso) a veces es difícil. Aquí hay una historia para ilustrarlo:

Crecí en una familia que iba a la iglesia cada domingo en la mañana y en la noche, así como la mayoría de los miércoles. Después, alrededor de 1964, empezamos a ir a los juegos de futbol americano de los Vaqueros de Dallas los domingos; por lo cual no fuimos a la iglesia en algunas ocasiones. Ahora que veo hacia atrás, esos recuerdos familiares son de mis favoritos.

Las comidas, la iglesia y los juegos de futbol americano eran tres... [continue]

You will be hated for my name’s sake


Coming from the South, New York City was a huge culture shock. New York City has a population of 8 million +, when my hometown doesn't even reach close to 1 million. At first, I told myself there's no way I could live here. You don't even feel the freedom to breathe. But then it grew on me.

I am living in Manhattan and commute to Brooklyn where I have begun to work with Pastor Danny at Swerve Church. Bushwick is a neighborhood two square miles wide and home to 140,000 people. It is filled with art, culture and a great need for God. You learn very... [continue]

Nightly Worship


The week is going by quickly and everyone has been hard at work. Several of our groups stayed late at their worksites yesterday in an effort to get more accomplished. Each night, we are glad for a time of worship to praise God for who He is and to hear from His Word.

David, our worship speaker, continued unpacking the Beatitudes. Throughout the week, he has been talking with students about what Jesus teaches in this part of the Sermon on the Mount. We have learned thus far that true satisfaction is found in Christ and is characterized by humility, righteousness, and... [continue]

It's not always easy to know right and wrong


Determining what is wrong (sinful) can sometimes be difficult. Here’s a story to illustrate:

I grew up in a family that went to church every Sunday morning and evening and many Wednesdays. Then, in about 1964, we started going to Dallas Cowboys football games on Sunday. This often required missing some church time. Looking back now, those family memories are some of my favorites.

Meals, church, and football games were the three things we did as a family, but only at the football games did we really talk, celebrate, and suffer with each... [continue]

Relationships in College


Relationships.

There are so many types of relationships that can begin, end, or continue to thrive as you enter into this new season of life called college. With this comes a mixture of emotions. Fear and excitement are the two that come to mind for me.

Fear of the unknown:

  • Will I make new friends?
  • Will the friendships I had in high school disappear?
  • How will I find my place?
  • What about my family, will I get homesick?

Excitement for what’s in store:

  • I’ve always wanted to try [insert here what you’ve always wanted to try],
  • I could totally
... [continue]

Defining Work in Oregon


I have found the word “work” to be one of the hardest words to define when speaking about ministry here in the Northwest. In the American context, most define work as space to complete a task or an hourly fulfilment. However, these examples are constructed with a beginning and an ending. Work is merely the time in between.

The work I’m a part of here redefines and challenges the concept because I am always on the clock with my students. I travel, eat, I feel pain and live life with them every day.

The international students who I minister to are in need of... [continue]

BOUNCERS Being a Blessing


BOUNCE students are doing great things in the Bartlesville community. Greg Graham, of FBC Bartlesville, had the opportunity to visit several of the houses where BOUNCERS were hard at work. He told a story about one homeowner who was a member of a local congregation. Her own children had been on numerous community service mission trips. “She had been giving all her life, and now through BOUNCE the Lord was blessing her,” said Greg. “Three out of four sites that I visited had homeowners nearly in tears out of gratefulness.” It is awesome to hear stories of how... [continue]

Seeking God’s presence in California


Salam (hello),

I came to California not knowing what to expect, but knowing that I need to be obedient to the call of making disciples among all the nations. My trip includes serving the Afghan community in Fremont, California. When we got here, Ramadan - a time when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset - had just begun.

For me it was hard to come and not have a set schedule of what to do, but the Lord showed me Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!”

Jesus has been teaching... [continue]

First Work Day


Today kicked off our BOUNCERS’ first day of working! After their arrival yesterday, the groups became acquainted with the facility that First Baptist Church of Bartlesville is allowing us to use to eat, sleep, shower, and worship.

Early this morning, we had a time of prayer over our participants. Go Time allowed us to commission the students to head out into the Bartlesville area to begin working. It was a good reminder that it is not merely about accomplishing tasks, but also about serving people and reflecting Christ. 

Each evening, our students engage in a worship... [continue]

How to Create a Budget


You’ve been accepted into college! Congratulations!

The next thing you’re probably thinking about is money: how do I pay for… college? student loans? student debt? life? Don’t be disheartened; it’s totally worth it. Take it from me, a poor college student.

Yes life and money can be stressful, but at the same time it can provide many learning experiences. Being on your own takes responsibility, especially when it comes to handling money. So, you might ask, how can I keep up with my money and stay on the ball when it comes to finances? The answer to that... [continue]

Sharing the Gospel with Greeks


Click here to read the previous post from Ginnie.

The following day, our team of 11 split up and four of us volunteered to do a 24-hour shift at Skala, which is a stage two refugee camp. Typically, no one willingly volunteers to be at Skala, since there have not been many refugees since the EU-Turkey Accord in March; however; Eurorelief requires that a team be there just in case a few boats happen to get past the Turkish Navy.

I really did not want to go, but when my leader asked for volunteers, I felt the Lord nudging me to go. After a few moments of... [continue]

Bartlesville Participants Arrive


Our six churches have arrived safely today. Most of the groups stayed the night in Oklahoma last night and drove to Bartlesville this afternoon. From Crosswinds Community Church, FBC Nacogdoches, New Harmony Baptist Church, Eastern Heights Baptist Church, Frio Baptist Church, and Baptist Temple Church, the BOUNCE team is glad to have the participants here.

The BOUNCE staff and students are ready to serve the community of Bartlesville. Each group will have a unique project that will impact homeowners for the gospel. Some of the projects include laying... [continue]

Texas Baptists bring BSM to Guadalajara University


Home to over 116,000 students, the University of Guadalajara lies in Guadalajara, the state capital of Jalisco, Mexico, which has a mere 1% Christian population.

For over 15 years, the university was without a Baptist ministry presence. In recent years, Texas Baptists, in partnership with the Baptist Convention in Guadalajara has helped develop a Baptist Student Ministry on the campus, in hopes of engaging college students with the Gospel.

College students are open to question and wonder, said Director of Texas Baptists River... [continue]

Hello, Bartlesville


We had a great time in Duncanville last week conducting the Dallas mission for the first week of BOUNCE this summer. The BOUNCE staff has now transitioned to Bartlesville, Oklahoma and is looking forward to meeting our participants arriving tomorrow! We will have students from Baptist Temple Church, Crosswinds Community Church, FBC Nacogdoches, Frio Baptist Church, New Harmony Baptist Church, and Eastern Heights Baptist Church.

Team BOUNCE is excited to meet all the students who will be serving this week. The team this week consists of Michelle Merriott (Mission... [continue]

BOUNCE Dallas Mission Complete


We are so proud of our BOUNCERS for finishing the week strong! It has been tiring, but the students have accomplished a lot in the Dallas community. From priming and painting, to siding, to roofing, to constructing porches and decks, youth groups came together to serve the community in the name of Jesus. The Lord did some great things with the physical tasks, as they were projects that made a difference in the city of Dallas. He also worked in the hearts of students, to help them understand the reason for serving. We work to serve people as a small... [continue]

Lidiar con la Complejidad Después de la Tragedia


La masacre de 49 personas en Orlando ha producido en

muchos de nosotros una ola de tristeza, una profunda tristeza. 

Toda persona es una criatura de Dios, y hemos perdido ahora a 

50 de ellos: las víctimas y su verdugo.

A esa cruda realidad se añade otra tristeza: el asesino actuó a partir de un tipo de lealtad a un grupo terrorista que se adscribe a una fe religiosa. La mayoría de nosotros, incluyendo a muchos musulmanes, no tenemos ese tipo de fe. La fe cristiana, afortunadamente, nos mueve a amar a todas las personas,... [continue]

What is Ahead


When someone says college, what comes to mind?

Most would say freedom, a new beginning, new friends, and a chance to redefine themselves. This is what I was seeking when I went to the campus involvement fair the first night of my freshman year. I could’ve joined a frat, the rugby team, the weightlifting team, but God had a plan for that night that I could’ve never imagined.

He led me to the Baptist Student Ministry.

At the time, I was a new Christian, I hadn’t been baptized, I hadn’t ever shared my faith openly, but none of that mattered. From the first moment, they... [continue]

This Week's Worship


It is difficult to believe that it is nearing the end of the week already! The staff is proud of the BOUNCERS who have been working hard consistently to serve as an expression of their love for Christ. Not only have they been able to accomplish tasks to help meet physical needs in the community, but they have also had the chance to encounter God in worship sessions each night.

Our worship speaker, Randy, has been diligent in his presentation of Matthew 5. Presenting the word in a way that captures the students’ attention, he uses relevant illustrations and is... [continue]

Congratulations Class of 2016


Can you believe that you are actually going to graduate? Congratulations! You are about to start an exciting time in your life - heading to college.

We would love to help you prepare for what lies ahead of you. TxBSM exists to engage YOU, help you follow Christ, and in turn YOU have the potential to be a catalyst for world transformation. We want to get you connected to your soon-to-be college home BEFORE you even step foot on the campus.

All summer you will see blog posts that will help prepare you for what life in college will be like. We will cover... [continue]

Dear Senior


Dear Senior,

Perhaps you are going into your last few weeks of high school thinking to yourself, How will I be remembered?

Maybe you are the Valedictorian, class president, sports MVP, FCA leader, and teacher's pet. Maybe you are down on yourself because you have been mixed in with the wrong crowd. Maybe you don't ever want to step into another classroom in your life, or maybe you are roaming the hallowed halls of your high school dressed in the colors of your future college. Wherever you may be in the journey of graduation, whoever you may be in the hierarchy of high... [continue]

Los Bautistas de Texas Recaudan Más de $26,000 para Ayudar a Refugiados Sirios en el L&iacut


Las generosas contribuciones con un total de $26,800 de parte de los Bautistas de Texas, tanto de iglesias como de particulares, ayudaron a numerosos refugiados sirios a sobrevivir otro frío invierno y primavera en el Valle Bekaa del Líbano.

Se otorgaron donaciones al Proyecto de Rescate de Refugiados de los Bautistas de Texas, el cual tuvo su origen el mes de octubre del 2014 por medio de un convenio entre los Bautistas de Texas y la Sociedad Libanesa para el Desarrollo Educativo y Social... [continue]

Continuing to share life-giving words in East Asia


Jennifer has served as a semester missionary in East Asia for the past few months. Here are her thoughts as she contemplates leaving those she has befriended and have yet to receive salvation.

How often do we pause to think about God's love for us? The depth of God's love that caused Him to take our debt so that we may live with Him forever. It is a love that we cannot fully understand until we begin to grasp the debt we owe. 

Then, let the weight of such a gift give a desire for friends to accept His love also. With this love, it is... [continue]

Dallas Mission Continues


Today is day two of the BOUNCERS engaging the community on their work sites. We’ve heard several updates from groups who have accomplished a lot already! Many have been tasked with painting, roofing, siding, or even constructing wheelchair ramps. Our coordinators have been hard at work planning and organizing the various projects, and the students have spent a lot of time bearing the heat and humidity to serve others.

BOUNCE has been fortunate to be featured in a few different media outlets in the Dallas area this week. We are glad to get the word out about... [continue]

Is there a sign on my forehead?


Sometimes a client will ask me if there is a sign on his/her forehead that says something to the effect of, “Abuse me, I’m a target.” Of course there is no sign, but at times negative reoccurrences in a life leads one to wonder if indeed there is a sign.

The truth is, to God’s people, and especially God’s ministers and their families, there is a target on each one. In our church, there is an elderly saint who prays especially for my husband and me. He tells us that we have big red targets on us. No, he is not hallucinating. He knows God’s Word tells us... [continue]

Go Time


Participants awoke bright and early this morning to eat breakfast and head out to their worksites. 7am was Go Time, when we commissioned our students and sent them out to serve Christ in the Dallas community. Brian Pearce, Mission Coordinator, encouraged them by reminding them of the gospel and the motivation that comes from being loved by God and desiring make him known.

BOUNCERS dove into work for their first day at seven different worksites around Duncanville. We are thankful for the local Baptist churches that provided lunches to these hardworking students! The students... [continue]

Breaking fast in Greece


The Lord is always good, but the Lord has been especially good these passed few days here on the island of Lesvos, Greece. The beauty here is unimaginable. The rolling hills, the glistening Aegean Sea, the Greeks whose smiles and warm nature always make your day. At times you might forget that just a couple miles away lies a refugee camp. While the tension and the hurt is palpable and real, I cannot deny that the very essence of God flows through every inch of that camp and the entire island.

As the days have passed in the camp, there have been families I've... [continue]

It's Time to Begin!


Despite traffic and weather conditions, all of the Mission teams arrived to Duncanville’s First Baptist Church today! We are so excited to get to know people from these churches all over Texas. There are about 175 students and leaders who made it here safely from Plano, Wylie, Dimmit, Crockett, Southwest Park, Stoneburg, and Kingwood.

When they arrived, our students were able to get situated in the rooms graciously offered by Duncanville’s FBC this afternoon. We are thankful for them this week! BOUNCERS were also able to participate in the BOUNCE BASH, in which they... [continue]

Dealing with complexity in the aftermath of tragedy


The massacre of 49 persons at a gay nightclub in Orlando has produced in many of us a wave of sadness — a deep sadness. Every person is a child of God, and we have now lost 50 of those children -- the victims and their assailant.

To that sad truth is added another sadness. The killer acted out of some kind of allegiance to a terrorist group that claims a religious faith. Most of us, including most Muslims, do not have such a faith. Christian faith, thankfully, moves us to love all persons, especially those with whom we disagree.... [continue]

When God says go


I kept repositioning myself in the seat. I’d never had a moment with my friend that I would consider uncomfortable, but I was practically squirming. There was no real point in burying the lead. “I need to talk to you about something,” I said. “I’m starting a new job in San Antonio. We are going to move down there.”

Saying it isn’t the hard part, really. I’ve had time to think, to process, to pray. The response is the difficult part. Friends are blindsided. They haven’t had the benefit of seeing how God has been orchestrating things for the past several months. Some had... [continue]

Hello, Summer 2016!


The BOUNCE staff is excited to welcome this summer’s students! We are eager to meet the churches serving in Dallas this week: FBC Dimmit, FBC Crockett, FBC Plano, Kingwood FBC, Southwest Park Baptist Church, Stoneburg Baptist Church, and Wylie Baptist Church. There will be approximately 175 students and student leaders lodging at Duncanville’s First Baptist Church.

Team BOUNCE (Coordinators and Collegiate Staff) is looking forward to meeting the students and their leaders. This summer, the Collegiate Staff consists of Amy Valenta (Mission Administration Specialist),... [continue]

#YesAllWomen: la manera en que la iglesia debería reflejar el ministerio radica de Jes&uacut


En los últimos días he leído con creciente preocupación noticias sobre la violencia en contra de las mujeres y las menores.

Un vistazo a los titulares:

Adolescente sentenciado a 25 años por matar a una chica que se rehusó a ir con él a la fiesta de graduación (Teenager Sentenced to 25 years for Killing A Girl Who Said No to Prom)

El padre de un nadador de Stanford se refiere a abuso sexual como si hubieran sido "20 minutos de acción" (Father of former Stanford swimmer refers to sexual... [continue]

#YesAllWomen: How the Church Should Reflect Jesus’ Radical Ministry to Women


Over the last several days, I have read stories about violence against girls and women with increasing alarm.

Just a snapshot of the headlines:

Teenager Sentenced to 25 years for Killing A Girl Who Said No to Prom

Father of former Stanford swimmer refers to sexual assault as ‘20 minutes of action’

A year after McKinney pool party, teen speaks out

In Texas, our eyes have been laser focused on Baylor, but the problem is bigger than one college campus. In fact, one of last year’s Oscar nominated documentaries,... [continue]

Texas Baptists raise over $26,000 to aid Syrian refugees in Lebanon


Generous contributions, totalling $26,800, from Texas Baptist individuals and churches helped numerous Syrian refugees survive yet another cold winter and spring in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon.

Donations were given through the Texas Baptists’ Refugee Relief Project, which originated in October 2014 through a partnership between Texas Baptists and the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD).

The funds raised this winter and spring through the project will help support local Lebanese churches in... [continue]

Riding on a rickshaw and seeing God at work


I have been in South Asia for 10 full days and I can honestly say that everything is completely different from anything I've known before. The language, food, architecture, culture, people, dress and transportation are all very different than life in the States.

Today, I'm going to focus on the transportation difference though. In the United States, we have a lot of traffic laws and regulations that are in place to promote order, safety and peace of mind amongst its citizens. In South Asia, there are some traffic laws, but most of them... [continue]

Texas Baptists honor Sam Prestidge and Tillie Burgin with Legacy Awards


It was a historic day in a historic town as Samuel W. Prestidge, Jr., retired director of Church Music for Texas Baptists, and Tillie Burgin, founder of Mission Arlington, were honored with the 2016 Texas Baptists Legacy Award during a special worship service at Independence Baptist Church on June 5.

Independence Baptist Church, the oldest continuously active Baptist church in the state of Texas, typically meets across the street in a newly constructed building, but each year on this Sunday, the congregation joins... [continue]

Muchos de Nosotros Compartimos la Culpa d Exaltar al Falso Dios del Fútbol Americano


Así como la gente de los tiempos antiguos, nosotros todavía lidiamos con dioses falsos. Los dioses falsos se nos presentan en la forma de dinero, gratificación sexual, residencias lujosas, poder político, amor romántico, seguridad financiera, nuestra apariencia, impresionantes títulos de trabajo, algún tipo de colección, carros, armas e invitaciones a reuniones exclusivas. Podría continuar con la lista, pero uno de nuestros más grande, el mío, es el de los deportes, particularmente el fútbol americano en... [continue]

Many of us share guilt in exalting the false god of football


Like the people of ancient times, we still struggle with false gods. Today's false gods come in the form of money, sexual gratification, fancy homes, political power, romantic love, financial security, our looks, impressive job titles, a collection of some sort, cars, guns, and invitations to exclusive gatherings. I could go on. But one of our biggest -- one of my biggest -- is sports, particularly football in Texas.

We have gotten so out of hand with football that we are putting the safety and wellbeing of women at risk. We... [continue]