January 2019


CLC announces public policy priorities


The Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission is pleased to announce their public policy priorities for the 86th Texas Legislative Session...

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Giving the gift of time


"...we get so caught up on tangible gifts that we lose sight of the gift of quality time with one another...

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6 Tips for Communicating with Your Elected Officials


Kathryn Freeman, director of Public Policy, shares how you can communicate with your elected officials...

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Evaluating Children’s Bible Study Curriculum


Preschool and Children’s Discipleship Specialist Diane Lane shares important features to consider when selecting curriculum for your children’s ministry...

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Texas Baptists joins Ramsey Solutions to provide financial training for churches


This year, Texas Baptists join with Ramsey Solutions to help churches provide financial training to their members. Together with the Southern Baptist Convention, Ramsey Solutions Financial Peace University (FPU) leader materials are being offered at a discounted rate of $99. Additionally, Texas Baptists’ Center for Ministerial Excellence will provide $20 per kit through a grant received from the Lilly Endowment to support financial literacy within churches. The total cost for church leaders will be $79...

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Breathing Through New Lungs and Celebrating New Life


Seventeen-year-old Victoria Lopez is breathing through new lungs and serving the Lord with a renewed passion following her double lung transplant in 2018...

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How Christians Can Stay Engaged Beyond the Election: Preparing for the 86th Legislative Session


Kathryn Freeman, director of Public Policy, shares insights on the 86th Texas Legislative Session and how you can communicate with your elected officials...

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Pastor to pastor: Spiritual health practices


Several Texas Baptists pastors share their personal spiritual health practices and the importance of remaining in a close relationship with God while leading a local church...

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Secret’s Out: Pastors often face financial challenges


The Center for Ministerial Excellence provides financial assistance, resources and encouragement to ministers facing financial hardships...

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How to Avoid Leading Through Loneliness


Pastors are always surrounded by people; whether they are preaching a sermon to a full church on Sunday, attending crowded prayer meetings or ministering to the hurting. Yet crowds of people don’t necessarily bring connection. And isolation can be a serious reality for the person behind the pulpit...

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MAP Stories: Sarah Lane


I have been in the Amazon for nine months, and every day I have seen with greater clarity the purposes of God in that place...

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FBC Waxahachie supports launch of new BSM at Navarro College at Waxahachie


"We aren't just the first campus ministry there, we are the first student organization to be on that campus, as well...

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Being open to conversations and using spiritual gifts in New York


My main spiritual gifts/talents are encouragement, working with kids, leadership, and singing. I was hoping maybe one of them would be useful while I was in New York.  Little did I know, God had much more in store for me!...

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King had the 'audacity' to be 'other-centered'


In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. declared:

I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up.

Merriam Webster’s Thesaurus lists shameless boldness as the best synonym for the word audacity.

Dr. King embodied righteous audacity as he proclaimed that every person regardless of race, country, or creed has the right to a full and healthy life despite the realities of oppression in the world.

Is this not the very essence of faith in Christ? Despite darkness, light wins. Despite oppression, freedom prevails. Despite hunger, people eat in abundance. The first shall be last. This audacious faith seems fitting for people who believe the God of the Universe became human in order to save the entire world from sin and evil.

In Texas, one in four children struggle with hunger. Our state ranks last -- 51st (50 states plus the District of Columbia) -- in terms of health care coverage. Thirty-one percent of Texans under 65 do not have health insurance and have barriers to adequate healthcare....

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God calls Christians to the divine work of pursuing justice


The “arc of the moral universe ... is bending toward justice.”

These are now famous words, but are they true? What do you see when you do a personal memory scan of what you know about history. Some of us may see an arc toward justice; others of us may wonder.

We surely have not arrived at complete justice in the United States.

We live in a nation of laws, which is a huge step toward greater justice, but those laws are not always justly applied across economic and racial divides.

We live in a nation of inclusiveness that promotes justice for all persons without regard to race or ethnicity, but still bigotry and racism flourish in both language and violence.

Justice and injustice -- both are real.

Scripture makes it clear that God is just and wants justice. One reason some people miss this is that in Scripture the words translated as justice or righteousness are often the same words in Hebrew or Greek...

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Coming home after a life-changing experience serving in Greece


There are many stories that could capture the essence of the work my team and I did during our journey to the camp. A big part of me didn't want to write about my journey to the Greek island or about while I was in the camp; thinking about it makes my heart ache and tears well up in my eyes...

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Young people have their reasons for leaving church


Symptoms, we call them. When I can't stop coughing, it's an indication something is wrong in my lungs. When my truck will not start, there's something wrong under the hood. When young people drop out of church, there's something wrong. Dropping out is a symptom.

It’s not really news that many young adults stop attending church regularly after high school. New numbers show the situation is actually a little better now than 10 years ago.

But if we care about the people these numbers represent and the teenagers who are following them, then the reasons why they leave are very important.

Top five reasons for dropping out:

  1. Moved to college

  2. Judgmental or hypocritical church members

  3. Disconnected from people in church

  4. Disagreed with church’s political/social issues stance

  5. Work responsibilities prevented attendance

...

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Texas Baptists form missions partnerships with Northwest and Michigan Baptists


Texas Baptists expanded missions partnerships with two state conventions, committing to assist with church planting and revitalization efforts with the Northwest Baptist Convention, serving Washington, Oregon, and Northern Idaho, and the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. ...

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Sharing Christ’s love in New York City


Upon applying to Go Now Missions, I was very compelled to be able to connect with the Asian culture. I initially applied to go to the East Asia trip and upon hearing that I was not appointed there, I was confused. I felt that it was the spot the Lord wanted me to be. However, he opened a new horizon to a completely different place and it was right here in the states. It was in New York...

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Discovering genuine love in Jamaica


By Christine Fisher, Go Now missionary

The real Jamaica is not the Jamaica we all go to to see some of the most beautiful coastlines or the one we stop at once while on a cruise and never look back.

The real Jamaica is my Jamaica.

It is the place where the true love of Christ our King runs rampant. The place poverty exists so extremely, but where I have met people who have loved me so immensely. The place my heart broke numerous times but was glued together by Jesus being ever-present in the very people and situations that broke it.

My Jamaica was where, on our first day, I was supposed to help build a house alongside my...

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Former BGCT president and CLC director Jimmy Allen dies at age 91


Jimmy Allen, a former president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) and former director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission (CLC), died Tuesday, Jan. 8, at his home in Georgia. He was 91...

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LA CIUDADANÍA CELESTIAL SE EXTIENDE A NUESTRO INVOLUCRAMIENTO POLÍTICO TERRENAL


En su discurso de apertura en nuestro Día del Activismo del 2017, el Dr. Vincent Bacote, eticista cristiano y profesor del Wheaton College, dijo: “nuestras vidas como discípulos deben importar a cada hora de la semana”. El Dr. Bacote señaló que el discipulado cristiano debe incluir cada aspecto de nuestras vidas, tal como nuestro involucramiento político, pero muchos de nosotros tenemos dificultad en someter nuestra política a la autoridad completa de Jesucristo y de las Escrituras.

A menudo ponemos en compartimentos nuestras vidas como cristianos. Le damos al Señor dominio sobre nuestras vidas dos horas el domingo, pero nuestro dinero, voto, y familias nos pertenecen. Aún cuando declaramos que Jesucristo es Señor, actuamos como si las fronteras de su reino solo se extendieran hasta donde nos es cómodo, pero los ciudadanos no determinan las fronteras de una nación sino las autoridades electas. Los cristianos somos ciudadanos del reino celestial, y si declaramos que Jesucristo es Señor, Él determina las fronteras (Colosenses 1).

El misiólogo escocés Lesslie Newbigin lo dice de esta manera: “La confesión ‘Jesús es Señor’ implica el compromiso de hacerla valer en relación a la vida entera del mundo: su filosofía, cultura, y política en un lugar no inferior al de la vida personal de sus habitantes”.

Aunque a fin de cuentas nuestra ciudadanía está en el cielo, nuestra ciudadanía celestial debería informar a la terrenal. Esta no es un llamado a la teocracia; es un llamado a que los principios cristianos informen cómo pensamos sobre asuntos públicos y sobre el involucramiento político. Los Estados Unidos no son una nación cristiana. Nuestros padres fundadores intencionalmente incluyeron lenguaje en la Constitución que prohíbe un estándar religioso para los oficiales federales electos...

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Sharing the Gospel in Ukraine


I have always had a special love and passion for children. When I first heard about this mission trip to Ukraine in December, I immediately felt called to go. I saw no better way to spend my break than to share Jesus with orphans. ...

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Serving God and refugees in Greece


I have been on mission trips in the States and Colombia before, but this experience was completely new for me. I was expecting it to be out of my comfort zone—which it was—but it was also much different than my other mission experiences...

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Mission Arlington: Seeing and trusting God


Today was so fun! I intentionally put myself in a position that I would be uncomfortable so that God could use me. ...

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UNA LECCIÓN DEL EXPRESIDENTE GEORGE H. W. BUSH


Es fácil decir que necesitamos más presidentes o más políticos como George H. W. Bush, y así zafarnos del anzuelo.

Joseph de Maistre en un par de famosos dichos señaló: “Todo país tiene el gobierno que merece” y “en una democracia la gente tiene los líderes que se merece”.

No somos la misma nación hoy que la que llevó al presidente Bush a la madurez; esta nación siempre está transformándose y cambiando. Resulta interesante que en su encarnación de 1992, los Estados Unidos desechó como presidente a este buen y gran hombre que había presidido sobre la caída de la Unión Soviética y guiado a la nación a su victoria en una guerra para detener una agresión: La Guerra del Golfo, pero aquí estamos hoy. Necesitamos una nación que forme y levante a verdaderos grandes líderes como lo hizo con George H. W. Bush.

Siempre que descubrimos los valores de una persona, debemos preguntarnos cómo se alinea con Jesús y la sabiduría más amplia de las escrituras. Así que tratemos de hacerlo con algunas ideas que se le atribuyen al presidente Bush. Su biógrafo, Jon Meacham, dijo que el código de la vida de Bush fue: “Di la verdad. No culpes a los demás. Sé fuerte. Da lo mejor de ti. Inténtalo con fuerza. Perdona. No pierdas el camino”...

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FUERON RECOLECTADOS $7,070 DÓLARES DURANTE #GIVINGTUESDAY (MARTES DE DONACIÓN) PARA AYUDAR A PERÚ Y


En un día, los Bautistas de Texas proveyeron 1,900 comidas a estudiantes marginados en Perú, y eso es solo la mitad.

Juntos, los Bautistas de Texas recaudaron $3,800 –o 1,900 comidas—para la Operación San Andrés el pasado Martes de Donación. Además, se recaudaron $3,270 para el fondo general de la Ofrenda contra el Hambre, dando un total de $7,070 para alimentar a personas necesitadas, ayudar a familias a romper el ciclo de la pobreza, y mostrar el amor de Cristo. ¡Sorprendente!

No puedo expresar con justicia mi gratitud a cada uno de los que participaron. Su ofrenda impacta al mundo, una comida a la vez.

Tuve el...

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Heavenly citizenship extends to our earthly political engagement


uring his keynote at our 2017 Advocacy Day, Dr. Vincent Bacote, a Christian ethicist and professor at Wheaton College, said, “people’s lives as disciples ought to matter every hour of the week.” Dr. Bacote argued that our Christian discipleship should include every aspect of our lives including our political engagement, but many of us struggle to bring our politics under the full authority of Jesus Christ and Scripture.

We often compartmentalize our lives as Christians. We give the Lord dominion over our lives for two hours on Sunday, but our money, our votes, our families belong to us. Even as we declare Jesus Christ as Lord, we treat Him as if the boundaries of His kingdom extend only as far as we are comfortable. But, citizens do not declare national boundaries, the boundaries of our country are determined by those in elected authority.  Christians are citizens of a heavenly kingdom, and if we declare Jesus Christ is Lord, He determines the boundaries (Colossians 1).

Scottish missiologist, Lesslie Newbigin puts its this way, “[t]he confession ‘Jesus is Lord’ implies a commitment to make good that confession in relation to the whole life of the world — its philosophy, its culture, and its politics no less than the personal lives of its people.”

While our citizenship is ultimately in heaven, our heavenly citizenship should inform our earthly one. This is not a plea for theocracy; it is a plea for Christian principles to inform how you think about policy issues and political engagement. America is not a Christian nation, our Founding Fathers intentionally included language in the Constitution prohibiting a religious test for federal elected office...

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