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Spare Change November 2018

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                            Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry

On October 10th the residents of Florida endured the third most powerful Atlantic hurricane.  Hurricane Michael destroyed homes and businesses causing over a billion dollars in damage. There were at least 54 deaths recorded by October 22nd.  People are still reeling from the devastation. Of course the Red Cross is there, along with other agencies, but the unsung heroes are the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers.  These volunteers come from Southern Baptist churches from all over the United States. Most of these volunteers have chosen to use their retirement years to chase disasters like these.  Whenever and   wherever there is a national disaster the Yellow Hats, as they are called, respond in droves. They have been at every major natural disaster for the last 50 years. From hurricanes and floods to tornadoes, the Yellow Hats, respond.

They have several functions they provide.  The most publicized is their ability to feed people.  Using a combination of mobile kitchens and nearby Southern Baptist church kitchens they are able to crank out 10’s of thousands of meals each day.  Check out this excerpt from a 2011 article in the New York Times, “The Southern Baptists cook the food that the Red Cross provides, and then Red Cross crews help deliver it. Since March 31, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Salvation Army and the Red Cross have worked together to deliver more than 638,000 meals and snacks to communities affected by this spring’s rash of severe weather.”

They don’t just feed people, they also have chain saw crews to cut up fallen trees and mud out crews to clear debris.  The volunteers are not just there to work, they also provide a shoulder to cry on and pray with those affected by the disaster.  They help with the physical needs so they can also provide for the person's greatest need -- salvation. They are able to share hope with people through the power of the gospel.  Below are just some of the key statistics from 2017.

All this should fill us with pride as Southern Baptists.  Our giving to the Cooperative Program and Annie Armstrong Easter Offering helps fund this ministry.  The national news has taken notice of our efforts, as well as the President and Vice-president, but of course that is not why we do it.  Whether we get recognition or not it doesn’t really matter. The volunteers of this ministry are seeking to please a much greater leader.  They are seeking to bring glory and honor to their Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember to pray for this ministry and its volunteers.  They are scheduled to remain in Florida through Thanksgiving, providing meals for people displaced by the Hurricane Michael.  For more information or to donate to the relief effort visit www.namb.net/hurricane-relief/

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

Student Ministry November 2018

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Dear Church Family,
This month my wife and I will be welcoming into our home our new baby boy! We are   beyond exited, slightly nervous, and definitely ill-prepared for the amount of sleep deprivation we are about to experience.  Ultimately we feel abundantly blessed, and we can’t wait to get to know this person the Lord has entrusted to us. It is because He has entrusted the raising and training of this child to us that we have been reading a book by Ted Tripp titled, Shepherding a Child’s Heart.

In this book Tripp discusses the need to train the heart of a child, not just the behavior. The premise is that scripture teaches that behavior comes from the heart, which means that if your heart is sinful, then ultimately your behavior will be too. And since scripture also tells us that all humans are sinful (Romans 3:23) we all have sinful, self-focused hearts that will produce sinful, self-focused behavior. Tripp’s point is that this reality is the number one issue when it comes to parenting. Children’s hearts are sinful and our parenting must point that out and give our children the solution. Obviously teaching children and teenagers proper behavior is extremely important, and discipline is necessary to do so. But we cannot forget that for all of our discipline and teaching, we cannot, as Tripp would say, give our children God oriented hearts.

But that is not to trouble us too greatly. It should make us feel a little powerless to command and dictate our child’s life; but that’s the point. God didn’t give you your child so you could control their life. He gave you your child so you could teach them about God and help them understand the gospel. He gave them to you so you would grow in your faith to trust the Lord with the heart of your most precious possession. You see, this is the hope that you have as a parent: God can change the worst of hearts. Look at what scripture has to say about God’s ability to move the heart. Proverbs 21:1 says “A king’s heart is like channeled water in the Lord’s hand: He directs it wherever he chooses.”

When you are disciplining your child, or lecturing them for the thousandth time; remember that their heart orientation is what truly matters. How are you pointing them to the gospel in your discipline or lecture. More importantly, how often are you praying for God to change their heart? Do you believe that God can change the hearts of great kings? If so, won’t you hope in Him to guide the heart of your child? By all means teach, lecture, and discipline your child. But more than that, lead their heart to Christ and ask the Lord to do the work only He can do.

Posted by Brian Van Doren with

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