October 27, 2011 Print Edition

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ReVision Florida gets off to a fresh start with focused prayer time

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Jeff Stading, pastor of Bayless Highway Baptist Church in Starke, left home in the dark early morning hours to attend the “ReVision Florida” meeting at Fruit Cove Baptist Church in metropolitan Jacksonville, determined to hear for himself how spiritual renewal can be accomplished among Florida Baptists.

He said the Oct. 24 meeting, bathed in a 20-minute prayer time, presented the appropriate focus to bring spiritual renewal. “We will never experience harvest if we don’t start it in prayer.”

Point of View: Florida Baptists have much to be thankful for

David Uth and the Committee on Order of Business have planned a wonderful program for the Florida Baptist State Convention when it meets Nov. 14-15. We will meet in the new facilities of the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs where David Hughes is pastor. It is a beautiful facility and David is the consummate host. Please make plans to attend.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering named after a passionate lover of Christ

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Each fall, many of Florida’s nearly 3,000 Southern Baptist churches affectionately turn their attention to “Lottie”—a seasonal figure who causes people to reach deep into their pockets to fund a massive worldwide effort to take the Gospel to the spiritually lost.

Lottie is a reference to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions—an offering collected for the sole purpose of supporting Southern Baptists’ 5,000 missionaries serving around the world through the International Mission Board. This year’s offering theme, “His heart, His Hands, His voice—I am Southern Baptist Missions,” is focused on raising $175 million.

Despite sluggish economy, churches give more than $1 million to FBCH

LAKELAND (FBCH)—The Florida Baptist Children’s Homes recently recognized the top giving churches to its annual Mother’s Day Offering. In addition, it also recognized top churches in per capita giving along with the top associations with the largest amount of giving by the churches in their area.

Each year the Children’s Homes conducts its Mother’s Day Offering campaign to raise funds for their ministry of caring for abused, neglected, and orphaned children.

Point of View: 4 keys to keeping people in church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—I had an extended conversation with a pastor of a church this past week. The topic was not that different from those I’ve had with church leaders for nearly 25 years. The pastor’s words were similar to those I’ve heard repeated hundreds of times: “We have a pretty good front door with a healthy number of guests. And we’ve had a steady increase in our number of new members. Our problem is really not the front door; it’s the back door. If we could just keep a fourth of all those who become involved in our church for a few months or more, we would be triple our size.”

Point of View: Dave says

Dave Says is a column featuring the financial advice of nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey, the Dave Says column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual calls on Ramsey's radio program, The Dave Ramsey Show.

Point of View: More schools need to read the First Amendment

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)—Those hostile to the Christian faith in the United States seem to have a reading comprehension problem with respect to the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Either that or they are deliberately twisting it in order to mute the influence of Christian thought in the public square.

Point of View: Soaps and sterility: Anti-nationalism for the masses

The September issue of National Geographic—the same one praising the rescue of orphaned baby elephants—documents a growing distaste among Brazilians for raising children. Since 1960, the fertility rate for Brazilian women has dropped dramatically, from 6.3 births per women to 1.9—which is below replacement level.

God uses Tallahassee student to show His glory in Southeast Asia

SOUTHEAST ASIA (IWC)—Sometimes, people don’t need tracts or literature to share the Gospel. Sometimes, God designs their bodies as living, breathing ministry tools.

During a mission trip to Southeast Asia with International World Changers, Aaron Powell, Bradfordville First Baptist Church, Tallahassee, walked into a mall bathroom and a Saudi Arabian man tapped him on the shoulder.

Florida Baptists develop ‘hearts for the people’ of the Peruvian Andes

PERUVIAN ANDES (FBW)—Several Florida Baptist churches and one association are becoming regular visitors to the Peruvian Andes after having adopted previously unreached people groups through the REAPSouth program of the International Mission Board.

According to the REAPSouth website, the following churches and association have adopted people groups: Carter’s Baptist Church, Lakeland; Bell Shoals Baptist, Brandon; Parkridge Baptist, Coral Springs; McGregor Baptist, Ft. Myers; Westside Baptist, Gainesville; First Baptist, Ocala; and Holmes Baptist Association.

Exodus 32:7-20, 25-26: November 13—Stand for the lord

Moses stood at a unique place in history when he laid his case for God to show mercy toward Israel. In arguing for mercy he appeared to be standing against God’s declared intention to visit judgment upon the rebellious nation. In spite of the theological issues involved, two messages stand out. First, we are to continue in prayer even when we see no easy way to resolve a problem. Second, we are called upon to make a stand for God in ordinary circumstances in which Christian principles are ridiculed. All too often people from all walks of life, from elementary school through college, feel obligated, and free from censure, to lampoon biblical teachings and virtue. Taking a public stand for Jesus may be impossible. At times, what we are has to under-gird what we believe and leave it there.

Numbers 20:1-13; Psalm 106: 32-33: November 20—Respond to difficult situations

With the rapidly changing culture here in Florida, pastors often are caught, unexpectedly, in a changed membership. Trying to live out the command to evangelize, the influx gradually creates a new dynamic in the church. Younger members desire different styles of music and preaching. Pastors are surprised to learn they are expendable.

So many Bible choices: What makes one different from another?

NASHVILLE (LCR)—For the unenlightened Bible shopper going into a LifeWay Christian Store to select a Bible, it is a bit like going to a Walmart superstore to pick a box of cereal—with the huge selection, where do you even start?

A few years ago, you’d just go to the store, ask for “a Bible,” and they’d hand you a copy of the King James Version (KJV)—for centuries “the Bible” for English-speaking audiences. But the last few decades have produced many Bible translations.

Baghdad pastors fear for future of Christian church in Iraq despite growth

BAGHDAD, IRAQ (FBW)—Despite a growing wave of persecution, one of the first independent evangelical, Bible-believing churches in Iraq has risen from the ruins of an embattled Baghdad—and it is thriving.

In a city still besieged by blackouts and curfews well after the 2003 U.S.-led toppling of Iraq’s longtime dictator, the congregation has increased 10-fold from 30 to 300.

Fire damages Jacksonville church

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—North Main Baptist Church in Jacksonville has been “bombarded” during the last few months with crime, according to Pastor Nick Phoenix. The latest incident Oct. 17 brought the Jacksonville Fire Department to a fire that damaged a building used for benevolence ministry. The fire is being investigated as arson, Phoenix said.

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