May 10, 2012 Print Edition

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Panama City pastor submits SBC resolution seeking ‘unity’ in midst of Calvinism debates

PANAMA CITY (FBW) – A Panama City pastor has submitted a resolution for consideration at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in New Orleans seeking “unity” in spite of theological differences, especially concerning Calvinism.

The proposed resolution comes in the midst of heightened discussion in Southern Baptist life about the controversial theological system named for John Calvin, a 16th-century French theologian and a key leader of the Protestant Reformation.

The goal of the resolution, submitted by Chris Roberts, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Panama City, is to “reduce some of the tension that currently exists” in the SBC, he told Florida Baptist Witness on April 27.

Editorial: Truly ‘pro-life’ – temporally and eternally

Speaking of some of his pro-life congressional colleagues, liberal U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), an openly homosexual congressman who announced his retirement from Congress in November, once famously (or infamously) said pro-lifers “believe that life begins at conception and ends at birth.”

Florida Supreme Court ruling could clear way for more slot machines

TALLAHASSEE (NSF) -- In a decision that adds fuel to the debate about expanded gambling, the Florida Supreme Court on April 27 upheld a lower-court ruling that says lawmakers can allow slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities in various parts of the state.

Bradford County Ten Commandments monument dedicated

STARKE (FBW) – Bradford County citizens dedicated a new Ten Commandments monument at their County Courthouse in Starke May 3 as part of the community’s observance of National Day of Prayer.

Replicating six-ton, granite monuments erected in recent years in other Florida communities with the sponsorship of businessman Joe Anderson, the Bradford County monument is a privately funded display granted by the County Commission in the government facility’s courtyard in Starke, community leader Harry Hatcher told Florida Baptist Witness May 3.

Haag’s prayer: ‘Give us the world for children’

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—“God, please give us the world for children.”

That’s the prayer of Jerry Haag, he told Florida Baptist Children’s Homes trustees April 24 in Jacksonville.

“Because there are children out there that need help. And God is going to call and God is going to allow people to be a part of meeting their needs,” he said. “And my prayer is really simple: God, let it be us. Let me have the privilege. God, let us have the privilege of being able to reach out and meet the needs.”

Point of View: Why I’m committed to preaching expositionally

I am absolutely convinced that expository preaching is the best way to approach the most sacred task of pastoral ministry.

The best definition of expository preaching I have heard came from Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.: “The point of the passage is the point of the message.”

New ‘descriptor’ & historic election ahead for New Orleans SBC

NEW ORLEANS (BP)—The recommendation of “Great Commission Baptists” as a descriptive name and the prospective election of the first ever African American president are on the horizon for the Southern Baptist Convention’s June 19-20 meeting in New Orleans.

Messengers will decide whether to adopt the informal, non-legal “Great Commission Baptists” descriptor as recommended by the SBC Executive Committee, embracing the suggestion of a special task force appointed to study changing the SBC’s name, deemed by some a regional barrier to the Gospel.

Annual Church Profiles reflect stagnant growth for 2011

JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—With one out of six Florida Baptist churches failing to submit a statistical summary for the 2010-2011 church year, the Florida Baptist Convention showed little collective growth in the 12 months of Baptist life.

A total of 457 congregations—or 15.6 percent of Florida Baptists’ 2,922 congregations—did not provide an Annual Church Profile to the Florida Baptist Convention despite repeated efforts to collect the information.

Point of View: End-of-school party with purpose

Hundreds of children at a school near your church are ready to celebrate summer vacation. What an opportunity! Plan a gigantic end-of-school party with an outreach purpose.

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: Chuck’s gift to us—‘Loving God’

By now you’ve surely heard that Chuck Colson went to be with the Lord April 21. Those of us who knew him are sad, thankful, and hopeful: sad that he is gone; thankful to have known him; and hopeful that we will be reunited with him one day.

Plant City, Pensacola teens take top honors in state Bible Drill event

APOPKA (FBW)—Scores of youth and children, along with their parents and supporters, gathered at Trinity Baptist Church in Apopka April 21 for the state finals of Bible Drills. The drillers showcased their Bible skills in the culmination of dozens of church and associational events in March and April.

Children’s Bible Drills were held at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville April 14, and also at Trinity Baptist April 21. Those with perfect, or nearly perfect, scores also participated in the Children’s Super Drills at both locations.

Florida Baptists asked to pray for their summer missionaries serving across the globe

JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—Involvement in collegiate missions has come full circle for David and Tami Wood.

In the summer of 1988 just a few months before they were married he represented Florida Baptists as a summer missionary to Israel, while she served in Indiana. It was an experience they often would reflect upon when contemplating God’s call on their lives.

Fort Meade centenarian tells of growing up in early 20th century Florida

FORT MEADE (FBW)—Velma Howell, a member of First Baptist Church in Fort Meade since 1941, celebrated her 100th birthday April 17. The stories of her lifetime, generously told to anyone who asks, give a glimpse of Florida in early 20th century.

Howell was born in north Alabama, and her father moved the family of nine to Fort Meade in 1918 to escape winter cold. Her father and two brothers drove south in their Model T Ford, a trip that took seven days. Her mother, expecting their tenth child, and five daughters rode down on the train, the “old Smokey Joe.” Arriving around 9 p.m. Nov. 18, Howell, who was six years old at the time, said she was surprised to see people in the streets of Fort Meade, shouting and dancing.

Young mom journeys from despair to joy while ‘carrying Anna’

PACE (FBW)—Until Dec. 1, 2011, the McMath Family eagerly awaited the birth of their third child. On that day, a doctor’s diagnosis dashed any hope, apart from a miracle, of a healthy baby, and Misty McMath began a journey marked by despair, anger, joy and faith.

An ultrasound examination at 18 weeks of pregnancy revealed Joey and Misty McMath’s unborn daughter, whom they named Anna Grace, had symptoms of aotosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease. The condition creates large cysts on a child’s kidneys that do not allow them to function, and without kidney function an unborn child cannot produce amniotic fluid, which can cause premature delivery.

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