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Again, I borrow Dr. Turner's Blog

The ABSC offices were recently moved from downtown LR to a new location. Here are Dr. Turner's thoughts about the move.

Doug



Lessons Learned in Relocation by Emil Turner, Executive Director ABSC
Posted on Friday, February 20, 2009
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The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) recently relocated from downtown Little Rock where we’d been for more than forty years to the edge of the city. There were several good reasons for the move: employee safety, maintenance costs on the old building were escalating yearly, the new site is easier for people to access, and our staff can get to the churches more easily.



I have led churches to build in the past, and learned some valuable lessons in the process. But there were some surprising insights from this experience.

1.
Building through committees is the least efficient way to build. I’ve done it both ways. A good decision maker with good counselors will produce as good a product as a committee in less time with less expense. The…

SBC Resolution from Doug #1

Ok, I'm going ahead with my series of proposed resolutions. Here's the first:
(note: I haven't taken 'Nice Phrasing and Doublespeak 101')

On the responsibilities and identity of Baptists:

Whereas the Bible is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried; and

Whereas certain doctrines of Scripture are hard to understand, even for an Apostle (2 Peter 3:15-16); and

Whereas perfect understanding is not necessary to preach that Christ was born, lived, died, and rose again, according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-5); and

Whereas the Holy Spirit has been given to guide us into the fullness of truth (John 16:13); and

Whereas even Paul was able to rejoice that Christ was preached, even out of selfish ambition or pretense (Philippians 1:17-18); and

Whereas we expend a great deal of time, money, and energy between various debates in Baptist life that are of lesser importance than the Gos…

Resolutions and the SBC

One thing we do as Southern Baptists is send messengers every year to the Southern Baptist Convention. (At some point, there should be a long blog post about how we are in some of the messes we are in as a group of churches partly when we started referring to the whole bunch as the Southern Baptist Convention. We're not the Convention. The Convention is an annual gathering of messengers. Everything else is on behalf of the participating churches in the Convention and those churches of "Like (read:same) faith and order." The Convention doesn't exist in February. The churches exist all year.)

Anyway, those messengers vote on a lot of things on behalf of the churches that have sent them. (By the way, they are messengers, not delegates. We elect people from churches that have the ability to discern God's direction for themselves. The church ought NOT instruct the messengers how to vote. Comes back to soul competency: you, as a believer, are a competent soul to in…

Why do we use so many words now?

I found this resolution on the SBC's website:

Resolution On Controversies
May 1859
RESOLVED, That, as members of this Convention, we express our earnest conviction that personal controversies among pastors, editors, and brethren, should, from this time forth, be more than ever studiously avoided.
I think that qualifies as enough said.

Another good link

I'd like to point you to this link:

http://blog.9marks.org/2009/02/james-resolutions-on-speech.html

Do you hold your speech to these standards?

Why not?

Blogging and Christian Responsibility

I highly recommend reading this post:

http://www.koinoniablog.net/2009/02/eph-429-and-blogs.html

Why? Because Dr. Mounce is right. Sometimes we forget that the web and blogs are not free-for-alls. Those of us who claim to be Christians still have a responsibility to act that way, even in the anonymous format of the internet. Why?

Remember the whole story of David and Bathsheba? Perfect little cover-up, everything's fine, right? Wrong:

But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD. 2 Sam 11:27 (NASB)
So, realize that the Lord sees and knows. Let's act like it, okay?

Why do we teach?

This morning, I was reading 1 Timothy 1:5:

5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1 Tim 1:5 (NASB)As I reflected on this one, I thought about it in light of how and why we teach in our churches. Often we teach with the hope of behavior modification, without really contemplating exactly what that will take. We teach 'Tithe' or 'Stay faithful in marriage' both of which are mandatory for Christians. But do we teach it effectively?

One thing I'm seeing here is that our instruction (NASB footnote has 'or commandment') is not just about information, but teaching, especially in the church, has at its heart that actions will follow. In school, you're not just reading those books for fun. The intention is that you will act, in some way, based on what you read. Education is intended to result in actions by the educated, which is why the worldview basis of where your kids go to school is much more…

Stimulate the economy!

Right after President Obama takes a long weekend.

Makes perfect sense, right?

We passed a law over 1000 pages in length with 12 hours to review it so that it can sit and wait until Tuesday for the President to sign it. This is ridiculous!

I'm not sure who will come forward as new candidates in Arkansas in 2010, but those candidates will get my vote.

Congressman Ross's website says that he is 'proud to have led the efforts to eliminate the “pork” from this bill, removing the earmarks for contraceptives and resodding the National Mall, and I fought off attempts to include frivolous requests like a water park in Florida.This bill is now focused on creating jobs and stabilizing our economy—not funding legislator’s pet projects.'

And I'm sure he read all 1000 pages before he voted for it, right? Made sure that the 8 billion for a railway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas wasn't in it, right? Oh, wait, there's MORE MONEY for that project than the entire state of Ar…

On Track

Well, today they've done some digging on the sewer. I honestly don't know if it's totally fixed yet or not. But, today we're trying to get back on track anyway around our house.


But, today brings renewed efforts to refresh Greek and learn Polish, to pre-outline sermons, and to plan ahead!

Sounds good to me. How about you? Are you on track with your goals? How will you get back to it?

Further questions about church

There were a few comments on last week's post about church. I'll narrow the point down further: What do you think the purpose of church services are?

For example: Is the purpose of Sunday Morning church to strengthen church members? If so, then those members are the ones who should guide the development, formation, and planning of the service. The manner of preaching should relate to how they live and what they understand, the music style should be what they are comfortable with.

Is the purpose of Sunday Morning church to win lost people to Jesus Christ as Lord? If so, then the thought processes of unchurched and unsaved people should be our determinant. What schedule will appeal to the world around us? What music? How do we preach?

Now, most of you are going to say that the church should both disciple the saved and evangelize the lost. But in a lot of these things, can you have it both ways? Are you discipling the saved by going over the elementary things of Christ eve…

Repost from Dr. Turner at ABSC

Ten Ways to Make Worship Fresh
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2009

Predictability is good for meals and paychecks, but is an enemy in encountering God. Encounters with God are usually “extra-routine”.

If you can recite the order of your Sunday worship service without looking at the bulletin so can most of your congregation. Avoid just going through the motions of worship.

1.Change the way you start. Have the choir enter from the back of the sanctuary; begin with a season of prayer, or testimony. Never begin consecutive services the same way.

2.Interview church members about God’s work in their lives. It may be a stewardship testimony, or a testimony about healing, or witnessing. Interviews use time better and are more comfortable for your members than testimonies.

3.Use video in promotions. Last years’ VBS video is a great way to promote this year’s VBS. A missionary moment on video is great during an offertory or before an offering is collected. Make sure all the equipment works in…

On the nature of church

I had a great morning with a friend of mine today. Jeff Noble, pastor of Journey Church here in Monticello, and I are working on some ideas that our churches can work together to reach our community. We get along quite well, although we don't exactly agree on everything. And, to tell the truth, our churches look and behave quite differently. Here at Calvary, we are a very traditional Southern Baptist church. We have most of the typical activities of a Southern Baptist church, and think very much like a small town group of folks. Journey, on the other hand, while being Southern Baptist church, is about as untraditional as you'll find, especially in small town Arkansas. They have church Sunday morning, but no Sunday School, Sunday night church is small group meetings in homes, they don't even own an organ!

So, naturally, the two pastors have some different viewpoints on churches and ministry. That doesn't mean we can't find ways for our churches to work togeth…

Another fine mess

For those of you keeping up, here's the latest from two of our 'allies':

China wants 'guarantees' of US Treasuries. Translated: we own you, your government policy must be done in a manner that we approve of. Go ahead and run up your debt with 'stimulus' packages, because we'll just own you more, and control you more. It's the classic twist on the golden rule. Not the one the Lord Jesus Christ said, but the Wizard of Id version: He who has the gold, makes the rules. Yep. So, now, American financial policy will be driven by what atheistic Communists tell Secretary of State Clinton. Sounds exactly like what the Founding Fathers intended, right? The ones who bickered about the Constitution until Benjamin Franklin, Deist or whatever he was (probably not a Christian, but maybe), suggested that they begin each day with prayer. Sure enough, out comes a Constitution described by the 2nd President this way: "Our Constitution was made only for a …

A link to a good read

Here's a link to a good read from one of the over 200 economists that think the current stimulus spending plan is a bad idea. Note that he's not anti-President Obama, or anything of the sort. He's just one of many who, contrary the President's assertion that 'everyone agrees' the government needs to bailout the economy, disagree.

And remember, our President has promised to include everyone and not be like the last President, who refused to listen to differing opinions.


And for a brief discussion of economics, it's not near as boring as you might think. Though, at this point, we need to get over being bored by economics and really learn what's going on.

Here's the link: http://popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?id=2129

Detachment

It's been a hectic couple of days, which unfortunately lead to being detached from the world around me. I've been thinking about that, and have realized that this is, for me, a greater danger than inactivity. True, when I don't have something going on, I tend to let my mind space out, which is not always good.

But when things knock me out of my routine, I tend to shift mentally to a 'nothing is going to get done' mode. Which is a bad mode. Especially since it's been 4 days, and will probably be at least another one before life moves back towards normal. Why? Because plumbers in Monticello don't work weekends, which means that Saturday's sewer disaster didn't begin to get solved until Monday. And on Monday, it was discovered that the sewer line is broken off from the sewer main, which requires digging the thing up, which requires a call to Arkansas OneCall, who will come mark the gas main and such, to make sure the plumber doesn't do some s…

And then the weekend....

Well, loyal reader(s), I'm sure you've read the Frustration Friday series. And, if I may be permitted to whine a bit more, Saturday went worse.

Nope, not about the bounced-check issue. I'm fairly certain we have that resolved. No, the house in Mississippi is not the issue, although if you're looking for a nice investment property, let me know.

No, the problem is the house we're renting down here in Monticello. We were trucking nicely through Saturday, cleaning the kitchen, doing some laundry, and about 3 o'clock that afternoon, Angie went down the hall to the restroom. To discover that there was about 1/2 inch to an inch of water standing in the bathroom floor, and a nice flow from the toilet into the hall. On top of this, the bathtub is about 3 inches deep. Which is a problem, since the bathtub isn't on. So, we stopped the washer, and started drying up with towels. Then we called our landlady, got her permission to call a plumber, and called one.

And…

Settling in

I'm still trying to strike a balance in my working schedule. I still fluctuate between bursts of creativity and productivity, with lulls in between. I think it would be better to spread things out, but fight to know how. Any suggestions?


And yes, I really want your suggestions. I turned comment moderation on because of a couple of small problems I was having with bots and people just reposting parts of blog posts in comments.

Frustration Friday revisited

Well, in the interest of fairness, the primary culprit of our financial issue is not our renters. While they do bear responsibility for their finances, because they aren't members of Congress or Presidential appointees, the fault lies also with their bank.

I should have realized this when I saw they bank with Regions. Apparently, the problem truly hit when they deposited their tax refund check with Regions (perhaps a RapidTax Refund Anticipation loan or something like that. Which are not really good things if you can help it. Get your refund filed electronically, and direct deposited. we're talking a 10 day turnaround, and a lot less cost.). Anyway, Regions put a hold on the check. Basically, Regions wasn't sure if the check was good or legit or something, and so they had money in their account.

But the bank wouldn't let them spend it. So, bouncing back comes their rent check.

Now, every bank has their own policies. But this is ridiculous.

Global Warming Protest Picture

I saw this picture at todayilaughed.com. It's of a global warming protest.

Note: I have not looked at much else on that website. click through at your own discretion. If you lack discretion, get off the internet until you have some.

Rantings: Ask for help

Just a personal ranting for a moment: if you want my help with something, ASK FOR IT!!! Do not assume that I will draw the conclusion that you need my help, or that I will automatically jump up from my own work to help you with a task you took on yourself. Nor should you assume that just because I don't look to you like I'm doing something, doesn't mean I'm not busy.

Am I willing to help? Yes. But ask for it. Don't assume it, don't say "You're going to help," say "would you help?" Even throw in a please. I'll bend as much of my personal schedule as I can to help.

But ask for it.

Frustration Friday

If you're a reader of Ann's blogs, you probably noticed that we're struggling with an issue around our family. What happened? Well, a little over 2 years ago, we were able to buy a house in Horn Lake, Mississippi. Then, we moved from Horn Lake, Mississippi. We had some friends that needed a house to rent and hopefully buy. This seemed like an ideal situation. So, they're renting the house for just enough for us to pay our mortgage payments on it. Basically, the only profit we are ever going to realize is that, when the house really does sell, we'll have a little more equity in it. Not much, given that we're in the first 5 years of a 30 year mortgage, which is when the bank is making a killing on interest.

Well, first part of January we get an email that they'll be a little late with the rent, but they'll have the money by the end of the month. So, we take them at their word, and when the end of the month comes, we deposit the check. After all, …

Linked over to someone else's blog

Most of you who read my blog probably don't know who Wade Burleson is. Pastor Burleson is, well, a Southern Baptist Pastor in Oklahoma. Most of his blogging is related to issues in the SBC. While I don't hit him up every day, I occasionally look in to see what's happening in larger SBC issues.

Anyway, today he's got a good post that's not specific on point, but is more of a great illustration, and I'll let you draw some conclusions about how it should apply to you:

Some Wisdom from the United States Air Forcefrom Grace and Truth to You by Wade Burleson A C-130 United States Airforce jet was lumbering along when a cocky F-16 fighter pilot flashed by in his half billion dollar jet. The jet jockey decided to show off.



The fighter jock told the C-130 pilot, 'Watch this!' and promptly went into a barrel roll followed by a steep climb. He then finished with a sonic boom as he broke the sound barrier. The F-16 pilot asked the C-130 pilot, "What do you thin…

Why the stimulus is full of bad math

First of all, she's said it twice. I can't find the link to embed the second one, but here Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi states that every month '500 million Americans lose their jobs.'

Except that there are only around 305 Million Americans. And given that the estimate is 73.7 million children, that leaves, roughly 230 million adults. Which means all of us have to be working, and then losing our jobs, twice a month.

Or maybe, since she's off by a factor of 100, we should reduce the stimulus? If the plan is that $800 billion will save 500 Million jobs a month, couldn't we save 500,000 jobs a month for $8 billion?

These are the people that want to save us?

Here's the video: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

Quick Question

What happens if the economy begins to sort itself out in the next 3 months? Will the politicians kill it again just so they can save it?



Or is this like the guy in Jacksonville back in my high school days who was shooting out car windows with a BB gun? Turned out he owned one of the glass places in town. It was his 'economic stimulus' plan for himself and even his competition. Do we have people tearing up things just so someone can look good saving it?

And why are we insisting corporations stop buying jets? What about the 2700 layoffs announced today by a company that makes corporate jets? It's not like these people are crack dealers. I don't mind putting crack dealers out of work, but normal Americans?

And why does the President get to keep the Oval Office hot enough to grow orchids or make people sweat, and still tell us that we have to 'sacrifice' for the environment or to save money? Did Al Gore come to Global warming conclusion while at President Ob…