June 2018


Bouncers are Sent Out to Serve Back Home


It has been a productive week here at Bounce as students finish up at their work sites. Bouncers have had wonderful opportunities to engage the homeowners at their work sites, and two homeowners even came to Bounce worship this week! Bouncers have repaired roofs, installed sheet rock, and lay dry wall all to show these homeowners how much they love and care for them. Several Bounce Teams even went out into Dickinson neighborhoods to prayer walk in response to Eric Martinez, the Worship Speaker, encouraging students to be available for the Holy Spirit to use. ...

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Bouncers Worship by Rebuilding Homes in Houston


Evening worship has been a fruitful time for Bouncers this week. It has been a time for them to connect with God and to connect with other students. On Wednesday, Bouncers were able to participate in Concert of Prayer where they prayed individually and in groups. Students praised the Lord through songs and prayers of adoration and thanksgiving. Youth group leaders also had the opportunity to pray over each on of their students.  While many youth group leaders have been praying to God for their students for some time, for many students, this may be the first time they’ve heard someone pray over them; this was a powerful moment! One student even gave her life to Christ!...

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Family Gathering to unite Texas Baptists in Arlington


For the second time, joint sessions of Texas Baptists Annual Meeting, the African American Fellowship Conference and the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas will join together in harmonious celebration for a three-day event...

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This Is What Families Do


Florence Green sat on the porch of her home content despite the sounds of hammers, saws and drills. Several students wearing Bounce nail aprons and bandannas flooded her yard and were busy building a wheelchair ramp. They carefully measured, sawed and nailed pieces of wood as Ms. Florence’s two small dogs scampered around the students’ feet...

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Gratefulness leads to worship, which leads to truly living


(Note from Ferrell: Ethics, which is about how we ought to live, is only Christian when it is rooted in the worship of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. Amy Ford Brumfield gave me permission to share the following article. Amy shows us what it's like to be truly alive and grateful in God's world and how that can lead us to worship our creator and redeemer. That worship then leads us to want to honor God with our lives.)

By Amy Ford Brumfield

A friend challenged me recently to reflect on what I am grateful for about my body. I am almost certain the following meditation is far removed from what she had in mind. She had flesh, bone, and sinew in mind, but I am always led to the abstract when I write.

I am grateful for:

Eyes that see the beauty of the created in the way the light plays on trees. I am grateful to have eyes that see not just shades of green, but the colors of the rainbow hidden within each leaf. The ability to commit it to canvas.

Ears that hear the miracle of a cellist playing “Gabriel’s Oboe.” Ears that can block out every sound but the water cascading over the fountain in my yard as it plays its own music. The way either can fill my eyes at the first note. When the two play in unison it borders on the divine.

The first hint of perfume from the privet hedge that blooms each spring. It’s not there one day, and then the next it overwhelms me with a fragrance I want to drink in and remember.

The first sip of morning coffee that provides pleasure and comfort when it touches my tongue and clears the cobwebs.

The ability to appreciate and sometimes untangle the prose of Wendell Berry as he challenges my world view and exposes my own propensity to prejudice or complacency...

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Bouncers Lend a Helping Hand in Houston


Bouncers were sent off for their first day of disaster recovery work in the Dickinson area of Houston, TX. After a Commissioning prayer led by Scott Stevens, the Missions Coordinator, students headed off to their work sites. Bouncers will be working on roof repairs, installing sheet rock and dry wall among many other things. Bouncers were filled with joy and enthusiasm at their work sites today. Groups were able to meet with their homeowners and hear their stories and how Hurricane Harvey has affected them. Bouncers were shocked to see some of the homeowners living conditions and were honored to know that they were an answer to prayer. One homeowner was so thankful for the work that Bouncers were doing on her roof that she made home made tacos for all of the students working on her home. Another neighbor to one of the work sites came over to a Bounce Team and let them know that she was receiving a liver transplant today. Bouncers were able to pray for her and she was able to pray for them; over all it was an encouraging time. ...

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Embracing the beyond in Southeast Asia


We were only there for a day, but God had gone out before us and had been working there for years. It was truly beautiful to see God on that island. ...

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Students in Pasadena, TX helping Houston BOUNCE back from Hurricane Harvey


Students have arrived in Pasadena ready for a weeks worth of disaster recovery work in the Houston area. Bouncer's will be rebuilding communities with the hope of restoring hope to homeowners who have lost so much in the after math of Harvey. Above all, Bouncers will seek to reflect the love of Christ this week as they install sheet rock and repair roofs. Bouncers will be the hands and feet of Christ as they seek to meet the needs of those in the Houston area. ...

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Ministry opportunities amidst border situation


Following a call to prayer, and an urging to contact elected officials, ministry opportunities in McAllen and Laredo/Nuevo Laredo are available to Convention churches who desire to meet the needs of those impacted by the recent immigration situations...

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Bouncers Leave Kingwood, TX as Conquerors in Christ


Bouncers have had a great week here in Kingwood, TX! Students have been hard at work helping homeowners bounce back from Hurricane Harvey. While it is almost a year later, homeowners are still trying to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. The work that students have been doing this week will have a lasting impact in this community. A majority of the Bouncers are from the Houston area, and so the work they have done this week has been deeply personal for them. Our hope is that students would continue to live pour into their communities and love their neighbor even after this week ends. ...

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Transformation in West Dallas: Hunger Offering gifts feed the hungry, promote holistic change


By Jaclyn Bonner

The traditional American narrative boasts that anyone can make it if he or she works hard. But the social systems and economic stratum one is born into can often exclude a person from having an opportunity to attain the “American dream.”

West Dallas denizens face a challenging situation. Generational poverty is commonplace in the 11 square miles of Zip code 75212. “More than one of every three families lives below the federal poverty level,” reports Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering ministry that has worked in the community for 75 years.  

Unemployment in West Dallas is at 10.5 percent, double the Texas unemployment rate, and 45 percent of West Dallas households earn less than $25,000 annually. More than half of West Dallas adults did not complete high school. The average pre-K child has a vocabulary of 1,500 to 2,000 words, compared to the 5,000 to 7,000-word vocabulary of children living in more affluent Dallas neighborhoods.

Moreover, a health crisis, job loss, and/or family tragedy can drastically change a household’s economic status, creating food insecurity and leading directly to poverty.

In 2015, Elaine Rodriguez* took a medical leave of absence from her work. Dealing with health complications and less income, Elaine and her husband, Jacob*, members of Bill Harrod Memorial Baptist Church, had difficulty putting food on the table....

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Bouncers Challenged to Share the Gospel Anytime, Anywhere, and with Anyone


Bouncers have had a busy week helping homeowners who are still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. A group of students in New Caney, TX have been installing sheet rock and repairing the ceiling of Ms. Mary's home. Mary's home was submerged in over eight feet of water due to flooding from the San Jacinto River. She and her husband tried to salvage any furniture they could, but the flood destroyed nearly everything that they owned. Mary and her husband waded out in waist high water to a rescue boat which took them to a local shelter. Mary is still trying to rebuild her home almost a year later and she is thankful for the work that Bouncers are doing on her home this week. ...

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Displaying Christ’s love through medical clinics in Haiti


These are our brothers and sisters in need and I am blessed to have spent a week providing them with medical care that they can’t get anywhere else. ...

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Project: Start Director Leonid Regheta presented Immigrant Advocate Award


Leonid Regheta, director of Project: Start Refugee Resource Center, was presented the Immigrant Advocate Award at the 7th Annual Immigrant Journey Awards...

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Bouncers Find Hope in God's Word


Bouncers continue at their work sites in Kingwood, TX. A group of Bouncers is working at Camp Holy Wild installing sheet rock. The work that these Bouncers are doing this week will have a lasting impact on those who use Camp Holy Wild's facilities for youth camps and retreats. 

Bouncers work out in the community from 7am to 4pm, and then return to Kingwood First Baptist Church for a hot shower, dinner, and worship. Bouncers participated in a Concert of Prayer tonight, where the sought the Lord through individual and group prayer. Brian Pearce, the Missions Coordinator, encouraged Bouncers to live a life marked by intimate prayer even after their week at Bounce. ...

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A good 'neighbor' shows mercy -- to anyone


Every adult knows the value of neighbors. Good ones make life better; bad ones create constant stress...

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Bouncers Fulfilling the Great Commission in Kingwood, TX


Today students were sent out into Kingwood, TX to fulfill the Great Commission by sharing the gospel while rebuilding homes. Brian Pearce, the Mission Coordinator, prayed over the students before he sent them out to their work sites for the week. Brian encouraged the students to consider making disaster recovery work a habit in their life so that the Church may be known for the way that it is quick to help those in need. The Collegiate Staff waved students good-bye as they left Kingwood First Baptist Church. The majority of the Teams served in trailer parks either doing heavy demolition work or installing metal roofs. Bouncers maintained positive attitudes even amidst the heavy rain. ...

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Loving the lonely in Vancouver


"...there's a sense of pride and accomplishment for being at this university, but there's also this loneliness that comes with that. It's not loneliness like I see back at the University of Texas. No, it's loneliness without a purpose...

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Bouncers Arrive in Kingwood, TX


Bouncers arrived today in Kingwood, TX! Kingwood First Baptist Church, where students will be housed this week, has been participating in Bounce disaster recovery work for several years, but when Harvey hit, several of their church members' homes where affected. While members of Kingwood First Baptist Church experienced damaged and flooding to their own homes, they were quick to respond to the needs of those in their community. The youth from Kingwood First Baptist Church used the skills that they had learned from doing disaster recovery work through Bounce to respond to the needs of those in their community. Many of them know the immense personal loss that comes from the aftermath of a storm like Hurricane Harvey and so they are overjoyed that they can serve others in the Kingwood community in this way. The Kingwood students are filled with enthusiasm and are prepared to go out into this week and build up homeowners through the work that they will be doing. ...

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Bouncers Leave Nederland Empowered


Students completed their final day of disaster recovery work in Nederland, TX! Students completed two roofs in the rain, and installed sheet rock and cabinets. Today teams presented their homeowners with a team picture and a Bible. Homeowners have felt immensely loved by these students'service. This week Bounce students had over 54 spiritual conversations, 16 gospel presentation, and 164 acts of kindness. Teams have built one another up, challenged each other and encouraged each other. Those teams who finished their projects early went to assist other teams at their work sites. ...

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Worship Empowers Bouncers for a Purpose


Bouncers have made tremendous progress at their work sites this week! Today students and Bounce volunteers worked through rain to complete the roofs at their work sites. Students and Bounce volunteers have experienced humidity, heat, and rain, and through it all they have maintained a great attitude and are now close to completion at their work sites!...

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Why Arlington?


Believe it or not, there are people in Texas who have never heard the true Gospel. These people are your next-door neighbors. Who will tell them?...

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Unreached Nations in the Heart of Vancouver


“This is very hard because we’ve never thought about God before.” ...

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Trusting God at Mission Arlington


It's easy to trust God when you know what's going on and what He has planned. But trusting God in the waiting? Trusting Him in the silence? ...

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Bouncers Work Together to Rebuild Communities


Bouncers have made progress at their work sites this week in Nederland, Port Arthur and Orange Texas. The "Blue Dodge" Team has been hard at work at a location in Groves, TX where they have been doing inside demolition work. The Team has spent most of their time installing cabinets, which has proved challenging. Though there have been set backs in the group with the cabinet installation, the group has maintained a positive attitude...

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Bouncers are Commissioned in Nederland, TX


Bouncers were commissioned this morning in Nederland, TX by Aaron Austin the Mission Coordinator. Bouncers woke up early this morning for breakfast at 6 am, and then were sent off to their work sites for the week. Aaron led the Bouncers in prayer and reminded them that they will serve as a light to those in Nederland and and Port Arthur, TX this week...

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EL CONSEJO EJECUTIVO CONFIRMA LA DECLARACIÓN DE PAZ EN LA JUNTA DE MAYO


DALLAS—Durante la junta del Consejo Ejecutivo de la Convención General Bautista de Texas el 21 de mayo, los miembros confirmaron la declaración de David Hardage, Director Ejecutivo, en la que exhortó a los Bautistas de Texas a buscar la paz en medio de una era de violencia en los Estados Unidos.

Hardage compartió una declaración de preocupación ante el Consejo el lunes 21 de mayo, en la que dijo:

“Una violencia descorazonadora se ha colocado de nuevo en los primeros planos de nuestra sociedad. Lo hemos visto recientemente en el tiroteo de la escuela de Santa Fe, Texas...

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MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP vs COLORADO CIVIL RIGHT COMMISSION EN DETALLE


Lo que significa:

El lunes pasado, la Suprema Corte de Justicia emitió una decisión en el caso de Masterpiece Cakeshop vs Colorado Civil Rights Commission favorable a la pastelería Masterpiece y su dueño, Jack Phillips, con una votación de 7 a 2. Si bien Phillips le había pedido a la Suprema Corte que considerara sus derechos de libertad de expresión y libertad de religión garantizados por la Primera Enmienda, la Corte decidió enfocarse solo en el de libertad de religión. La Corte determinó que sus derechos al libre ejercicio de su religión fueron violados porque el gobierno de Colorado, representado por su Comisión de Derechos Civiles, juzgó de manera inapropiada sus creencias religiosas.

De acuerdo a precedentes legales de la Suprema Corte, el gobierno no puede emitir juicios al respecto de la validez de las creencias religiosas de una persona; solo puede emitir un juicio cuando, en ocasiones, esas creencias religiosas puedan oponerse al interés público. Esta consideración neutral no resultó evidente en el caso de la pastelería Masterpiece.

La Corte dejó en suspenso la pregunta más amplia al respecto de futuras demandas en base a la libertad religiosa de dueños de negocios al afirmar que “el resultado de casos como este en diferentes circunstancias debe quedar pendiente en espera de un desarrollo más detallado de las cortes, sobre todo en el contexto del reconocimiento del hecho de que estas disputas deben ser resueltas con tolerancia, sin un excesivo irrespeto por las sinceras creencias religiosas de la gente, y sin someter a la población gay a indignidades cuando desean obtener bienes y servicios en el mercado abierto”.

En lo que respecta a Texas, este fallo es un recordatorio para legisladores y jueces sobre el hecho de que una actitud de abierta hostilidad hacia las personas y creencias religiosas viola los requisitos de la Primera Enmienda sobre el respeto y la neutralidad. Es poco probable que el patrón específico que dio como resultado este fallo en el caso de la pastelería ocurra en Texas, por dos razones:

  1. En Texas, las leyes contra la discriminación no se aplican a la orientación sexual, si bien algunas ciudades han aprobado ordenanzas no discriminatorias que incluyen la orientación sexual. En todo caso, las leyes contra la discriminación no se aplican a las iglesias.

  1. En 1999, un diverso grupo de líderes religiosos y seculares, entre quienes se incluía el director de la Comisión de Vida Cristiana en esa época, Phil Strickland, ayudó a aprobar la Ley de Libertad y Restauración Religiosa de Texas (RFRA, por sus siglas en inglés). Esta ley dispone claramente, mediante sus estatutos, la manera en que las cortes deben considerar las demandas en base a libertad religiosa. Le prohíbe al gobierno imponer una carga sustancial sobre el libre ejercicio de la religión de un individuo, a menos que esa carga tenga como fin la consecución de un interés estatal convincente y que el gobierno haya empleado los medios menos restrictivos posible a fin de perseguir ese interés. El RFRA no garantiza que los derechos religiosos de un individuo imperen en toda circunstancia, mas sí establece un marco para la consideración respetuosa y neutral de los derechos religiosos de una persona versus los intereses gubernamentales.

El fallo de la Suprema Corte es importante como recordatorio de que el gobierno no puede ser abiertamente hostil hacia la religión y hacia los individuos que esgrimen creencias religiosas y que buscan patentizarlas en el foro público. Si bien la naturaleza de la vida en una sociedad pluralista incluye en ocasiones debates y desacuerdos sobre declaraciones de derechos en franca competencia, como cristianos debemos estar comprometidos a asumir una actitud de bondad, de amor por nuestro prójimo, y de respetuoso debate en la medida que hacemos patente nuestra fe por medio de todos nuestros actos....

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Restoring Hope to Port Arthur and Nederland


BOUNCERS arrived in Nederland, TX today from all across Texas and Georgia. Students and BOUNCE Volunteers arrived excited for the opportunity to restore hope to Port Arthur and Nederland this week through the hard work of rebuilding homes affected by Hurricane Harvey...

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Preparing for BOUNCE Summer 2018 Kick-Off in Nederland, TX


BOUNCE is kicking off this week at Nederland, TX! Our first mission will be in the Port Arthur and Nederland area where students will be helping the community BOUNCE back from Hurricane Harvey. The BOUNCE Collegiate Staff and Volunteers are excited to be welcoming students at the First Baptist Church Nederland where students and volunteers will be housed during the week. Students from across Texas and Georgia will arrive in Nederland this Monday to begin disaster recovery work...

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Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission Explained


Monday, the Supreme Court decided Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission in a 7-2 decision in favor of Masterpiece and its owner, Jack Phillips. While Phillips asked the Supreme Court to consider his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion, the Court actually only addressed his free exercise claim. ...

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Hunger separates families, Hunger Offering keeps them together


By Jaclyn Bonner

My late grandmother, Edna Wood Bonner, grew up during the Great Depression. She sought to emulate the strength and selflessness she saw modeled by her own mother, Maggie Wood, who became a single parent of seven shortly after my grandmother and her twin brother were born.

It does not require statistics from the 1930s to understand the difficulties Maggie faced. She labored under the hot sun daily as a cotton picker, but this did not provide an income adequate to raise two sets of twins and three other daughters alone.

Like many mothers who desire the best for their children, Maggie made the difficult decision to place her children in institutionalized care. In 1932, at the age of eight, Edna and her twin brother were sent to the local orphanage, joining their siblings and other children whose parents were deceased or unable to care for their primary needs.

While the current economic situation of our nation does not rival that of the Great Depression, hunger is still hurting families today.

Feeding Texas reports that a study released by the United States Department of Agriculture found that 1.4 million Texas households were food insecure from 2014-2016. One in seven families in our state, 14.3 percent of households, are unable to put food on the table every night.

Hunger in Texas is higher than the national average*, but it is only a microcosm of the pervasiveness and severity of global hunger. The World Food Programme announced that 815 million people, one in nine, go to bed hungry every night. One in three people in the world are malnourished....

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