Archive for October, 2010

Thankful for early voting

October 27, 2010

I am so glad my ballot has been cast for the upcoming election on Nov. 2.

Though the candidates are still out in full force trying to sway the minds of voters, I don’t have to pay any attention to the rhetoric. And, now I can toss the campaign propaganda that has been filling my mail box without any guilt. My votes have been cast.

Don’t get me wrong. I take my right to vote seriously. That is why I voted early when I had the opportunity. We need to vote and we need to encourage others to vote. Keep in mind there are still countries in our world where people do not have the right or opportunity to vote. It is a privilege not to be taken lightly.

For those who have not yet voted, I encourage you to pray about your decisions. Research your candidates and make sure they hold to your values and expectations. Then vote your convictions.

Regardless of who we vote for, we all need pray for our country in the days ahead and for the men and women who will be chosen to lead — in our local communities, our state and our nation.

Prayers were answered

October 15, 2010

Millions of people around the world were captivated by the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped underground for 69 days after a mining accident.

Countless prayers were lifted up on their behalf.

Following is a story from a different perspective. Rick White, pastor of The People’s Church in Franklin, could relate somewhat to the families of those miners. His dad worked in a mine for 33 years and he had an uncle killed in a mining accident.

Enjoy the story, remembering that God does indeed answer prayers and miracles still happen.

Franklin pastor “tweets” about rescue
Baptist and Reflector

FRANKLIN — Rick White, pastor of The People’s Church here, had more than just a passing interest in the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners who were rescued last week after spending 69 days trapped underground.
White’s father, Alvie White, was a red ore miner in Jefferson County, Ala., and spent 33 years working underground, White said.
White said he was “riveted” to the television as he watched the dramatic rescue of the miners.
As he watched, White would “tweet” messages via Twitter, a social networking tool that has gained popularity in recent years.
On Oct. 12, before the first miner was rescued, White tweeted, “My dad worked underground as a miner for 33 years. My uncle died in a cave-in. Watching this rescue brings back lots of memories. Praying.”
After the first miner was rescued, White tweeted, “Thank you God for the first one. Now please bring them all to safety. …”
He later tweeted, “In the middle of nowhere the world is watching a miracle before our very eyes. May God give grace and mercy to all.”
In an interview with the Baptist and Reflector White said he found it interesting that a medic had to go down before the miners were brought up.
That’s a perfect example of the gospel, the pastor observed.
“Christ had to come down so we can go up to God.”
White said he felt some deep emotions watching the rescue as he remembered stories his dad (now deceased) would tell him of mining accidents and rescues.
White said his dad was in some minor cave-ins, but was able to escape with outside help.
White recalled there was “always that anxiety” knowing his dad was working underground.
The Franklin pastor can even recall going to the mines when there was an accident (none involving his dad) and watching families gather awaiting word on their loved ones.
While watching the rescue of the Chilean miners, White was pleased to see the “sustaining spirit that faith brought to these men,” noting that almost every man who was rescued cited how God had sustained them through the ordeal.
In his final tweet that night, White wrote, “The best 24 hours of TV in a long, long time. God bless the miners of Chile and all who had a part in their rescue. Thank you Lord.”

Share a blessing today

October 8, 2010

I was just reminded of a valuable lesson. Blessings can be shared and multiplied.

Let me explain.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Kathy Trundle, VBS specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Kathy shared an e-mail she received from John Parrott, director of Holston Valley Baptist Association, based in Rogersville.

John had shared the copy of a letter that First Baptist Church, Sneedville, had received from a small church in Nashville. I have written a story that will appear in next week’s Baptist and Reflector. It has such a good message that I wanted to pass it on before the weekend.

In essence, a small church in East Tennessee wanted to pass along its blessings from God to another church. That church, located in Middle Tennessee, in turn, passed its blessings on to others, including people in other countries.

What a wonderful lesson for all Christians. When God blesses us, we should not keep those blessings for ourselves. We can then become an instrument to bless others.

Enjoy the story and multiply a blessing today!

Sneedville church’s gift of VBS materials multiplied worldwide

Baptist and Reflector

SNEEDVILLE — First Baptist Church here had some left over materials from Vacation Bible School that pastor David Logsdon didn’t want to keep stored in the closet.

“God’s Word does not decay and is not useless,” he observed. “Let’s continue to pass these materials on to others who can use them,” he reasoned.

As Logsdon was looking for those to pass the VBS materials to, his wife suggested there might be churches in West and Middle Tennessee who might not could afford materials this year if they had been affected by the flooding which ravaged the state in May.

After several phone calls, Logsdon finally connected with the Nashville Baptist Association who passed along the word that FBC, Sneedville, had VBS materials for anyone who needed them.

Tracey Rogers, VBS director at Faith Baptist Church in Bellevue, near Nashville, contacted the church, eager for the materials which included curriculum for the past two years and other items.

In a letter to FBC thanking them for the free items, Rogers noted that “your phone call desiring to donate materials to churches in the Nashville area were an answer to prayer.”

The church held its first VBS last year over five Sunday nights, according to Rogers.

This year, they opted for a one-day VBS. “‘Our desire was to offer as many Bible stories, two days of missions and throw in some fun crafts and recreation,” Rogers wrote. “We didn’t know where the funding would come from but we stepped out in faith.”

Faith’s willingness to step out in faith was rewarded. The church had 36 in attendance, more than triple that of the previous year.
Half or more of those children had never heard the good news of Jesus Christ, Rogers shared.

“While no decisions were made at VBS that day, we know countless seeds were planted. We will continue to reach out to these kids and their families and cultivate those seeds,” Rogers wrote in her letter to FBC.

But the story did not stop there. Faith took what they had left over and provided materials to five churches in three other states. One of those churches was going to use the material on a mission trip to Russia. Plus, some Sunday School curriculum that FBC had included was shared with someone who ships materials to missionaries around the world for their use.

Logsdon is grateful that God was able to use their leftovers in such a way.

“There are a lot of churches who cannot afford VBS materials. This was our way of sharing blessings God has given us with a church in need,” Logsdon said.

That church, in turn, shared its blessing with others, he observed. “Our blessing was multiplied.”

And it won’t stop there. Logsdon said FBC has already talked with Faith Baptist about partnering with them for VBS again next year. Blessings will continue to be multiplied.