Aug. 2: Glimpse of the Throne

ss-exploreTroy Styer
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Grand Junction

Focal Passage: Revelation 4:1-11

John knew his readers were suffering during difficult times, and he showed them a glimpse of pure worship in Revelation 4. This worship reminded them that God was in control as the rest of the visions unfolded in the book of Revelation.

“After this” introduces us to a new vision that John is about to experience and reveal to his readers. John has mentioned the trumpet previously, so we know the voice is Jesus. Once again John reiterates the certainty that this will take place by the phrase “what must take place.” Verse 2 tells us that John was in the Spirit meaning he was gifted to see spiritually what would not be visible physically. What John witnessed is worship of God in its purest form. [Read more…]

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Aug. 2: Return to Prayer

ss-lifeBy Randy Harmon
Pastor, Rock Springs Baptist Church, Greenbrier

Focal Passage: Nehemiah 1:3-10

Someone has said, “You can do a lot of things after you pray, but you shouldn’t do anything before you pray.” There are no short cuts to prayer and there is no replacement for the relationship that is built with God as we commune with Him in prayer.

Nehemiah was a man of prayer who understood the power of prayer. While in exile, serving a Persian king, Nehemiah learned of the desolate condition of the Jews and of the wall in Jerusalem.

He had sensed God leading him to go to Jerusalem to lead a reconstruction project. One major obstacle to this task was that Nehemiah was the servant of king Artaxerxes. In Nehemiah 1:5-11, Nehemiah prays for an open door with the king. [Read more…]

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Chattanooga Church Facility Damaged by Fire

By Baptist and Reflector

CHATTANOOGA — On June 27 the church rectory of Northside Community Church here was damaged by fire.

The rectory was home to Mitchell Reaves, pastor, and five members of his family.

The building, which formerly was an educational building and wasn’t needed for church activities, was insured. Repairs have been estimated at about $300,000, reported Reaves.

Work will begin to repair the 10,000-square-foot rectory soon. [Read more…]

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Life After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

150726onemanonewomanweddingBy Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Editor’s Note: This issue of the Baptist and Reflector contains in-depth articles about the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision and its potential impact on churches, ministers, and laity. Visit www.tnbaptist.org/marriage for additional resources.

BRENTWOOD — Less than three weeks after the United States Supreme Court redefined the traditional, biblical definition of marriage, the full ramifications from the decision are yet to be seen.

The court’s ruling that state prohibitions against same-sex marriages are unconstitutional dramatically signals that the culture and the law are changing, said Jim Guenther, attorney for both the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.

“While churches are not of this world, they minister in this world. This decision both reflects and contributes to these changes. It will have an indirect but significant effect on churches. There will at least be a ripple effect from this decision — some think a tsunami — that will reach many corners of the law,” he observed. [Read more…]

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Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal: SCOTUS

Gavel on sounding blockBy Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Editor’s Note: The Baptist and Reflector will publish more in-depth articles about the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision and its potential impact on churches in the July 15 issue.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled June 26 that same-sex marriage is protected under the Constitution and  is now legal in all 50 states.

In a landmark decision, the decision to redefine marriage passed by a 5-4 margin with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy providing the swing vote. [Read more…]

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‘FIT FOR LIFE’ EQUATES TO ‘FIT FOR HIM:’ MCLAURIN

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Willie McLaurin, special assistant to the executive director/treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, led a breakout session on fitness at the Summit in November. — Photo by Corinne Williams

Willie McLaurin, special assistant to the executive director/treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, led a breakout session on fitness at the Summit in November. — Photo by Corinne Williams

MILLINGTON — As a new year is set to begin, thousands upon thousands of people make that traditional New Year’s resolution to lose those extra pounds gained during the past year.

For most, it is easier said than done, says Willie McLaurin, special assistant to the executive director/treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

McLaurin led a breakout during the November Summit at First Baptist Church, Millington, entitled “Fit for Life, Fit for Him.”

The TBC staffer speaks from experience. He once weighed 384 pounds, but over the past eight to nine years, he has lost 165 pounds and has maintained that weight loss. [Read more…]

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