Disaster Recovery offers opportunity to respond to North Texas winter tornadoes
by Leah Reynolds on December 26, 2015 in feature
The day after Christmas took a vicious turn in North Texas as a line of storms brought numerous devastating tornadoes. Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery (TBDR) began making plans for recovery efforts immediately following the storms on Saturday evening, according to David Scott, director of Disaster Recovery.
TBDR personnel are assessing damage and are communicating with disaster relief contacts to identify what role Texas Baptists will play in cleap-up and rebuilding of houses and lives.
The twisters affected residents from Ellis County to Collin County. Houses and vehicles were damaged, and there were a number of fatalities.
Seeing Godâ€™s sovereignty through small blessings
by Guest Author on December 23, 2015 in great commission
On my third day of working with Mission Arlington, I was able to do something new from my regular job in child care. I worked the in the front office.
My job was to help people who needed food, clothes, help paying bills, etc. I would bring them into a room, talk to them about what they needed, pray for them and then take them shopping in our store where everything was free.
I talked and prayed for several people. After about four hours, I had a woman come in. When I sat her down to talk, I asked her how she was doing. She looked tired, and stressed out.
She said, "I have to ask someone to jump my car all the time, I don't have a...
Walking in the fire
by Guest Author on December 16, 2015 in faith
When you have given of yourself until there is nothing left to give, there is a way to recover.
I sat in my office at the church and cried, "God, I don't want to do this anymore." It wasn't the first time God and I had this conversation, but this time was different. Times before I was frustrated, or I just didn't like some of the current issues the church was going through. This time I was depressed, my heart was aching and I literally felt like every part of my insides had been poured out. There was nothing left but the physical part of me trapped being a pastor.
For 10 years, I had been involved in itinerant ministry. My wife and I...
Spoiler Alert: Christ is Returning
by Kathryn Freeman on December 16, 2015 in christian life commission
I hate suspense. For as long as I can remember, I've hated that pit in my stomach when I don't know how the story is going to end. My aversion to suspense means reading the end of books when it's not clear who's the villain, it means surreptitiously getting on moviespoiler.com while watching the latest blockbuster, and it means an aversion to surprises in any form.
You can imagine how the aversion to suspense played out as a child during the Christmas season. I was definitely the kid shaking presents and trying to untape and retape gifts before December 25. Thankfully, I had parents who let us open one gift on Christmas Eve, which...
Five Mistakes I Wish I Had Made Sooner
by Joe Loughlin on December 14, 2015 in faith
I'm sharing five mistakes I wish I had made a lot sooner. Sooner, I say, because some lessons I seem to insist on learning by the experience of my own failure rather than by the observation of others' mistakes. These are ones I wish I had gotten out of my system sooner.
And, I'm sharing these five (there are more, believe me), because there is no reason for you to go out and repeat them just for fun. Of course, if you're the type who insists on sticking your tongue to the frozen flag pole of life just to see what happens, then by all means go out and make these same mistakes as quickly as you possibly can.
- Mistake: Failing
Literacy ministry helps church outreach in communities
by Lester Meriwether on December 9, 2015 in christian life commission
Language connects people, but Texas is now home to many people who know little of the English language. These residents have their beautiful and valued native languages, but they desire to function more fully as part of American society.
Many churches are stepping up to minister to this need, which also gives them the chance to touch the lives of families in various other ways, including through evangelism and discipleship.
South Main Baptist Church in Houston calls its literacy ministry South Main International Learning Experience, or SMILE. Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo calls their program Learning English...
New CLC resources posted online -- biblical perspectives
by Ferrell Foster on December 9, 2015 in human trafficking
The Christian Life Commission has produced five resources in its new Biblical Perspectives series. The first topics are civility in public discourse, human trafficking, immigration, justice, and pornography. These can be found on the CLC web...
Do you have Christmas expectations?
by Guest Author on December 9, 2015 in ministers spouses
The turkey buzz is over. This week alone we have five Christmas parties! I am tired just making my checklist of what to bring to each party, what to wear, scheduling childcare, etc ... As I thought about what to write for this blog my heart was overcome with the emotions and stress of the season. I want to be joyful and sentimental and have all of those "christmasy" feelings, but instead I feel cranky and frazzled.
As a teenager who felt a strong calling to ministry, I never imagined I would feel this way about Christmas. My favorite thing to do was attend our church's Christmas Eve service. I loved everything about it: the...
Religious liberty and openness at the core of U.S.
by Ferrell Foster on December 8, 2015 in church state
Presidential candidate Donald Trump said Monday we need a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
It is sad that a candidate for president would say something so contrary to the founding and sustaining principles of this great nation. Religious liberty stands at our nation's core, and openness to immigrants has filled our population with a diverse people unparalleled anywhere on earth. America is at its best when it allows people to pursue their religious beliefs and when it treats all people with respect and dignity.
These principles of...
Five ways to have a strong Christmas Eve outreach
by Ryan Jespersen on December 8, 2015 in great commandment
Christmas seems to come sooner and sooner each year. Most retailers are displaying and selling Christmas merchandise in the middle of October, some before the end of September. Radio stations begin playing Christmas music in the middle of November. My daughters begin talking about Christmas in March. Facebook memes will typically come out on December 26 touting 364 days until Christmas. While some people get quite annoyed at the early nature of Christmas, others welcome it. Regardless of how you feel about it, as church leaders we can embrace the Christmas season as a time when our church outreach efforts can bear much fruit...
Merry Christmas from Texas to Europe
by Ferrell Foster on December 2, 2015 in christian life commission
Serbian Baptists have risen up to meet the vast needs of Middle East refugees arriving in their country. Now, a Texas Baptist family is sending $15,000 to help meet the need.
The ongoing work and the new gift are, in a way, a Christmas gift of love to a mostly Muslim people in need. The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering has facilitated the connection between Texas and Europe.
I contacted the European Baptist Federation a few months ago as the migration became prominent news around the world. EBF personnel worked to clearly identify specific ways funds could be used well in addressing the crisis, because we wanted the money to...
Hunger Offering partners with Baugh Foundation for refugee relief in Serbia
by Kalie Lowrie on December 2, 2015 in news
AUSTIN - December 2, 2015 - In response to an overwhelming number of Syrian refugees flooding into Europe and through a generous gift from the Baugh Foundation, the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering sent $15,000 to Serbia on Tuesday, Dec. 1, to provide aid for refugee relief.
The funds will be used by Baptist partners in Serbia for food, transportation, hygienic materials, shoes, waterproof jackets and other supplies for refugees. Currently, partners are assisting approximately 2,000 refugees a day through volunteer efforts and donations.
When the refugee crisis began to impact Europe in September, the Christian Life Commission staff...