Month: May 2020

“You can never love Him as He has loved you” by Charles Spurgeon

Tolle Lege

“Our Lord Jesus was not only in the brunt of danger, and in the faintness of His agony, but He was in full prospect of a cruel death. He knew all that was to be done to Him.

When you and I have to suffer, we do not know what is before us; it is a happy circumstance that we do not.

But Jesus knew that they would buffet Him. He knew that they would blindfold Him. He knew that they would spit in His face. He knew that they would scourge Him. He knew that the crown of thorns would tear His temples.

He knew that He would be led forth like a malefactor, bearing the gibbet on His shoulder. He knew that they would nail His feet and hands to the cruel cross.

He knew that He would cry, “I thirst.” He knew that His Father must forsake…

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GenSend Program Raises Up the Next Generation of Missionaries


Liz Olear lived and worked in Atlanta after serving there through GenSend. Now, she lives in San Diego and works with a Southern Baptist church in the city. Photo by Daniel Delgado/NAMB

Southern California sounded like a vacation spot to Ebbie Davis at first, not a location for serious mission work. Besides, the seminary degree she was working on at the time focused on international church planting, not North America.

But as she looked at an opportunity to serve in San Diego through the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) GenSend program, a friend asked some questions about what her time there would entail.

“I said I’d be working with a church plant there,” Davis recalled, “and learning how to live my life on mission and do ministry in the context of the city.”

Her friend pointed out that it sounded exactly like the aim of her degree program at Southeastern…

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Send Relief Student Missions Goes Virtual With GenSendNOW


ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) — Every summer for the last few years, college students have participated in the GenSend missions experience, being fully immersed in one of the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) Send Cities to learn how to live “on mission” every day. But since the COVID-19 crisis is making the usual experience impossible, NAMB is launching a virtual experience for college students and leaders called GenSendNOW.

“With COVID shutting down safe travel, we really got to thinking about how GenSend is a way of thinking, not a trip,” said Steve Turner, NAMB’s senior director of next gen mobilization through Send Relief. “The coronavirus shouldn’t really slow us down. GenSend is really made for something like COVID.”

GenSendNOW launches June 1 and lasts through July. The program includes weekly, interactive webinars with mission leaders from across North America, training for how to live on mission and challenges that will help…

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Arkansas Pastor Honors Sacrifices for Memorial Day


Phil Kramer conducts a memorial service for a fallen soldier in Iraq in November 2006. During his 16 years of service as an Army chaplain, Kramer was deployed overseas nine times. Submitted photo

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (BP) — Pastor Phil Kramer knows that “freedom isn’t free” is not just an abstract concept or clever catchphrase.

As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a former U.S. Army chaplain, he has conducted many funerals for soldiers killed in the line of duty, many of them young men and women under 30. He keeps in touch with some of their families.

“As human beings we’re busy people, and it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the freedom that we have, the freedom that we enjoy, is paid for with a price,” Kramer said. “And that price includes the blood of hundreds of thousands of men and women who have…

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Jeff Clark on Covid-19 and Rural Missionary Work Around the World


Jeff Clark is the Rural Missiologist for the Rural Matters Institute as well as the Project Leader for the Global Research Department with the International Mission Board. He has served as a Strategy Research Associate in East Asia. He has also served on the state Baptist Conventions of Montana and West Virginia. Jeff holds a Doctor of Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.

When COVID-19 struck in the U.S., the church sprang into action. Alternative plans were hastily developed and Zoom calls and conferences sprang up overnight. It is now possible to watch video conferences all day long on how to handle the COVID-19 crisis. Because of this worldwide event, the church in the U.S. has been dissected and examined in excruciating detail.

Likewise, churches in large, urban areas around the world have experienced a similar flood of resources to evaluate their situations and to make…

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Jewish Woman Accepts Christ After Watching Livestreams During Coronavirus, Drives an Hour for Baptism


After watching online worship, Lisa Cohen Huff, center, drove an hour south of her Mississippi home for First Baptist Church of Gulfport pastor Jimmy Stewart, right, to baptize her. Also shown is her husband Pope Huff, left. Submitted photo

GULFPORT, Miss. (BP) — “Don’t live in fear anymore,” Lisa Cohen Huff recalls hearing while half asleep in bed one morning at her Hattiesburg home. “Here’s the door. All you’ve got to do is step through,” she heard the next morning.

Huff grew up Jewish. But even before the COVID-19 pandemic largely shut down onsite worship, she had begun watching livestreamed worship and devotionals by First Baptist Church in Gulfport, an hour south of her home. The pastor there, Jimmy Stewart, was a childhood friend of her husband Pope Huff, who was a Christian.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve texted Jimmy … ‘You made me cry again,'” she…

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May 22 Handling Weakness!

Truth2Freedom's Blog

When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.
(Romans 7:21, NIV)

Become an enemy of your weakness; make it your target, or it’ll become your taskmaster! When Samson awoke in the lap of Delilah, he’d lost his anointing. His next step was a dungeon. The battle of your life is always between your strength and your weakness. Listen: “These two forces within us are constantly fighting each other to win control over us” (Galatians 5:17, TLB). Nobody’s exempt. Your struggles may be different from mine, but we’re all on the battlefield.

If you think you can indulge your weakness today and just walk away from it tomorrow, you’re deceiving yourself; your weakness has a will of its own. Paul said, “When I would do good, evil is present with me” (Romans 7:21). Your weakness plans to destroy you. Listen: “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth…

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One Church’s Tale of Two Pandemics, 100 Years Apart


A 1918 church school class smiles with the Rev. Dr. John Misao Yamazaki, vicar, and teachers outside the Mariposa Avenue home used for Sunday services by St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

At the height of the influenza pandemic in 1918, the Rev. John Misao Yamazaki stopped holding services at St. Mary’s Japanese Mission, the Episcopal church in Los Angeles he helped found more than a decade prior. Before mandatory quarantines were enacted, Yamazaki began visiting homes to pray for sick children and families.

More than a century later, in the midst of another global pandemic, the Rev. Laurel Coote, Yamazaki’s successor at what is now St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, stands in the quiet sanctuary livestreaming images of its empty pews and stained glass windows to her congregation via Facebook.

The Rev. Laurel Coote gives a tour
of the empty St…

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