God Designed His People for Timely Living

By Johnnie Godwin
Contributing Columnist, B&R

“Your daddy is soooo slow!” said my mother from my growing-up days till the close of their retirement days. More recently, one of my sons said about the hurried nature of life today, “Jesus was slow!” I didn’t take exception to Mother’s statement because Dad was slow unless he got in a hurry. But I put a caveat on and a sermonette to my son’s statement about Jesus being slow.

If you don’t know what I’m about to tell you about timely living, then you really need this bit of visiting we’ll do. The nutshell of this piece is that God in Christ was never slow or hurried; and he designed us for timely living. [Read more…]

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Change Is Necessary to Remain Relevant

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

All my life I have heard the phrase, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Well, we can add change to that list.

Change is going to occur. If you don’t believe it, look in the mirror. Then, go find a picture of yourself five, 10, or 20 years ago. Every person is proof positive that change occurs.

Change is necessary to be relevant in today’s world. Churches face that constantly. How do you change to reach an ever-changing world without compromising the gospel? [Read more…]

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A Vessel of Mercy to the Least of These

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

The words of Jesus pierce my heart as I read the facts about the state of children in our country. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • There are more than 640,000 children in our country who spent time in out-of-home care (in foster care) during 2012 — nearly 400,000 of them on any given day.
  • Children in foster care remain there on average two years and change locations nearly four times.
  • The average age of these children bouncing from one house to the next is just 9 years old.
  • Nearly 10 percent of children exiting foster care “age out,” meaning they’ve not been adopted, are no longer eligible for foster care and are turned out with little or no way to support them.

[Read more…]

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Trusting God Through the Uncertainties of Life

By Jenna Fleming
Writer/Member, Union Avenue Baptist Church

It was a year ago that I miscarried our third child. A strong heartbeat one week became faint and irregular a couple weeks later. The ultrasound room was darker than normal on that day. I have two healthy girls, and I know how a “normal” pregnancy is supposed to go, so when the ultrasound tech struggled to find my baby’s heartbeat only to call my doctor in, it was new and shocking for me. A positive pregnancy test should result in a live baby. Right?!

Fast forward to late summer. I got another positive pregnancy test, but I was prepared this time. Guarded. My former naïve optimism was now a cautious longing for a good outcome, i.e. healthy, live baby. This time, though, I didn’t even make it to my first OB appointment. I miscarried at home and relived the grief I had earlier that spring.

I wanted answers. A solution. [Read more…]

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The Empty Tomb — Symbol of Hope for Eternity

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

When we think of Easter, usually two images come to mind — the Cross and the empty tomb.

Both are important and are visual reminders of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for you and me.

My personal favorite is that of the empty tomb.

The empty tomb symbolizes our hope for eternity. [Read more…]

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The Cooperative Program and Overpasses

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

I’ll never again drive across the overpasses heading into downtown Chattanooga without thinking about Tree Man Smith, God’s determined love for the destitute, and the Cooperative Program.

Tree Man — or “Tree” as his friends call him — is homeless and has been since 2004. The refuge taken under Chattanooga’s many overpasses has been his only protection from the elements. Tree is nicknamed “Tree Man” because he ran a tree removal service for a number of years.

But the line between the Haves and Have Nots is thinner than you might think. A blown engine rod in his truck, clients that didn’t pay, and stolen tools is all it takes to go from scratching out a living to clawing for survival. Tree is definitely a survivor. [Read more…]

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