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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)—Fearful members. Declining church attendance. Concerned pastors. Uncertain futures. Despite dramatic changes in the life of many Hispanic congregations in Alabama with the new immigration law, the news isn’t all bad.
“A lot of people left,” Carlos Gomez said of the Hispanic congregation he leads at First Baptist Church in Center Point. “I called them back and some of them returned. But I know of another ministry that is close to me here in town that had around 120, and now it has about 40.”
WEST PALM BEACH (FBC)—Mowing the lush green grass surrounding the community center where the fledgling congregation was meeting, the Jacksonville youngster was unaware that this would be the first of many churches he would have a role in planting.
The elementary school student three decades ago was determined to do his part to grow a church that had been planted in his family’s living room, even if it was a simple job of tackling the grass with his mower.
The President of the United States is violating the First Amendment.
Without even asking Congress or getting the opinion of the Supreme Court, he and Kathleen Sebelius (Secretary of Health and Human Services) have decided to force the entities of the Southern Baptist Convention to buy abortion-causing drugs for women. This is a direct assault on the religious liberty that our ancestors won and defended for us, and we have no choice but to oppose it.
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)—The rocks signified a specific event in Israel’s history. The crossing of the Jordan into the Promised Land—a supernatural event—revealed God acting on behalf of His people to keep His promise, show His faithfulness, and display His might. While the generation who migrated across the divided river would never forget walking through that divinely made aisle, human nature and subsequent circumstances likely would have prevented those distinct memories from remaining with the next generation.
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.
A well-known expression attributed to Albert Einstein defines insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
PENSACOLA (BCF)—In January even the Sunshine State can be chilly. Add a damp drizzle and 20 mile per hour winds to the mix, and it can be downright cold. Stand at the base of the Pensacola Bay Bridge at dawn in those conditions, and the word “frigid” comes to mind. But even the extreme conditions could not dampen the spirit of 16 Baptist College of Florida students working with a new church start in the Pensacola area.
Each January, BCF and the Florida Baptist Convention partner together to sponsor a church planting practicum somewhere in the state. This year, the hands-on opportunity took them to the Gulf Breeze area of the Panhandle to assist pastor Gabriel Vargas with Iglesia Mision Casa, a Hispanic congregation meeting on the campus of the city’s First Baptist Church. “There are approximately 7,000 Hispanics living between Navarre and Pensacola,” Pastor Vargas noted. “And they need a church to call their own.”
Augustine (354-430. AD) penned the famous spiritual insight that God has made us for Himself, and our souls are restless until they rest in Him. The fact of a multitude of religions around the world and throughout time bear witness to that truth. People wind up making images of metal, wood, and stone which are little more than reflections of human emotions written on a huge scale. The gods and goddesses of Mt. Olympus, for example, express the sensations of their worshipers. Left to themselves, people create gods in their own images. Nevertheless, God made Adam and Eve in His image, His assurance that He can be found. Psalms 42 and 43 lay bare the path a longing heart follows as it seeks rest in God. As we study these psalms, we will probably say, “Been there; did that.”
Meditate on the times you have called most fervently on God. Were not most of these when we faced momentous decisions, or in times of grave illnesses for which there seemed to be no cure? We may even organize a telephone brigade to petition God for healing mercies or relief from danger. We can gain assurance from the Bible of God’s concern. King David, a man after God’s own heart, illustrates the commonality of our feelings. We know not the particular circumstances beyond what the psalmist recorded in verse 14. Assemblies of violent men “sought after” his soul. Was he in a military battle? Had political enemies conspired against him? We do not know, but we need not speculate further. The important lesson is how he dealt with the problem.
“We’ve done the Lecture Lab approach on several occasions,” said Setlzer, who has served nearly 14 years as senior pastor of the tan and red-tiled roofed church located on a palm tree-lined corner on the outskirts of California Baptist University. “Based on LifeWay’s Explore the Bible curriculum, we’ve gone through 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon.”