MY FATHER’S HANDS

By Carolyn Tomlin

Carolyn Tomlin

Carolyn Tomlin

The third Sunday in June is the day set aside to honor our fathers. This day pays tribute to our earthly father. For many people, the man who comes to mind is a grandfather, foster parent, adopted dad, a teacher, or Sunday School leader.

On this day, as all other days, it is important to recognize the contribution our dads made to our families, our communities, and our churches. By observing this day, children have an opportunity to show love and respect to their fathers. Honoring our dads strengthens the bond between the child and father which supports the emotional growth of the child. [Read more…]

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BLENDING THE GENERATIONS IN CHURCH

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160520Generations-Infographic1BRENTWOOD — The Greatest Generation. Baby Boomers. Generation X (Baby Busters). Generation Y (Millennials). Generation Z. Knowing the names assigned to the generations in today’s world can be confusing and hard to understand.

Only one thing is certain about each generation — they all need to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

An increasing emphasis is being placed on Millennials and Generation Z and rightfully so. Statistics reveal that Millennials are leaving the church in record numbers and that nine out of 10 children in Generation Z will likely grow to adulthood without knowing Christ.

These are sobering statistics and must be addressed. New churches are being started with Millennials and Generation Z as the focus. [Read more…]

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REACHING GENERATION Z IMPERATIVE: DAVIS

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160517genzBRENTWOOD — The projected photo in the meeting room was of 10 children though only one was spotlighted. The caption read — “If the trend continues, nine of 10 children born after 9/11 will reach adulthood without knowing Christ.”

“It takes something monumental to reverse a trend. You don’t reverse a trend just by changing your mind,” observed Randy C. Davis.

Even more alarming is that these children born after 9/11 (2001), who are known as Generation Z, make up what is predicted to be the largest generation ever, added Davis. The executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention spoke at the “Reaching Gen Z” luncheon held at Grace Community Church here and at six other locations across the state recently. The meetings drew a total of about 525 people. [Read more…]

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HERITAGE OF A CHRISTIAN MOTHER

By Carolyn Tomlin
Contributing Columnist, B&R

Carolyn Tomlin

Carolyn Tomlin

Rudyard Kipling once wrote, “God could not be everywhere, and therefore, he made mothers.

Celebrated the second Sunday of May, Mother’s Day is recognized as a special time we pay tribute to our mothers. Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, recognized as the founder of Mother’s Day, petitioned Congress in 1914 to set aside this date to honor those women to whom we owe so much.

A “mother” is not only the person who gave you birth, but she is the one who cared for you as a child. This may include aunts, grandmothers, foster mothers, or neighbor women who nurtured a lonely child. Some of the best “mothers” I’ve known never had biological children, yet in every sense of the word, they were truly mothers. [Read more…]

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ONCE A PARENT, ALWAYS A PARENT

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Tony Rankin leads a conference during the Missions Get-Together in Gatlinburg.  — Photo by Corinne Williams

Tony Rankin leads a conference during the Missions Get-Together in Gatlinburg.
— Photo by Corinne Williams

GATLINBURG — Some people have the mistaken notion that parenting stops when a kid graduates from high school or college, says counselor Tony Rankin of Nashville.

Nothing could be further from the truth, he told a large gathering of women who attended his workshop, “Once a Parent, Always A Parent,” at the Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union annual Missions Get-Together held last month in Gatlinburg.

“Getting ready to parent is not a short-term decision. Once you start it, you never stop doing it,” observed Rankin, who has three children, ages 29, 26, and 25. Though all three are legally adults, “I feel like I’m still parenting my children,” he said. [Read more…]

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WE MUST CHOOSE CHILDREN OVER MONEY

Editor’s Note: Tennessee Rep. Susan Lynn of Mount Juliet announced April 18 that she is delaying action on the “bathroom bill” this year in an effort to further study the issue. She told The Tennessean, “I am still absolutely 100 percent in support of maintaining the privacy of all students. But I’m going to roll the bill over until net year so we can work on those issues.”

 

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Lonnie-Wilkey

Lonnie Wilkey

The Bible (and especially Jesus) has a lot to say about children.

In Matthew 18:1-5 (NIV) Jesus said that “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

Mark 10:13-16 (NIV) recounts how the disciples tried to stop people from bringing their children to Jesus so He could place His hands upon them. Jesus made it very clear to His disciples that they were to allow the children to come to Him. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” [Read more…]

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WHOEVER SCREAMS THE LOUDEST GETS HEARD

By Jenna Fleming
Writer, Pastor’s Wife, & Member of Union Avenue Baptist Church, Memphis

Jenna Fleming

Jenna Fleming

Children today (and perhaps adults in the general populace as well) are often not drawn to what they need, but to what is right in front of them. Truth, goodness, and beauty are available and can be found in nature, great literature, works of art, music, and such, but amusement and frivolity are available as well and easily accessible. Our parents’ generation had television. We have streaming services, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, along with television and its 500 channels that we don’t need. Now, before I come off anti-entertainment (maybe I already have) I want to be clear that I use many of these and enjoy them on occasion. There is nothing inherently wrong with any of it, but there is something wrong in how we use or misuse them.

As a parent, I am becoming particularly aware of how an increase of silliness in my children’s environment causes them to crave more. [Read more…]

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CHURCH’S UPWARD LEAGUE REACHES THOUSANDS

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Coaches, from left, Ronnie Sandlin, David Cuffman, Josh Simon, and Theresa Sanders prepare to lead teams in a prayer before an Upward Basketball game in metropolitan Nashville. — Photo by Bobby Sandlin

Coaches, from left, Ronnie Sandlin, David Cuffman, Josh Simon, and Theresa Sanders prepare to lead teams in a prayer before an Upward Basketball game in metropolitan Nashville. — Photo by Bobby Sandlin

GOODLETTSVILLE — When Ken Castleberry, pastor, Parkway Baptist Church, started Upward Basketball here 12 years ago, it drew 75 children.

Today, the church manages an Upward Basketball and Upward Cheerleading league involving three other churches which draws about 490 children or teens, 100 coaches, 35 referees, and another 400 adult volunteers.

About 2,000 people will attend the league’s upcoming Upward Awards Night which has to be held at a church not involved in the program that has a sanctuary which can accommodate the crowd. [Read more…]

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PARENTS ARE INTERPRETERS

By Todd Brady
Vice President for University Ministries, Union University

Todd Brady

Todd Brady

Along their journeys of exploring the world around them, children need moms and dads who understand the tremendous privilege and parental responsibility of being interpreters for their children.

For a parent, opportunities for interpretation abound. A child wakes up to a new world every day. Nothing is bland. Boredom has not cynically shown up on their doorstep yet. Every day, sights are seen for the first time. Sounds are heard for the first time. Words are being assigned to things they see and touch and hear and smell. Every day is a new day to explore. All things are new. Oh, the wonder of being a child.

At our church, we take the Lord’s Supper each month. When I walk into the sanctuary on those Sunday mornings and see the table prepared, I think about what we’re going to experience, I say a little prayer and I think about my family who sits on the pew with me. On those days I always smile. I know it’s going to be a good day. And I know that later that afternoon I’m going to get to do some interpreting for my boys.

Now on one hand, five fidgeting boys with wiggly bodies and clumsy hands are not a good mix with little pieces of bread and plastic cups full of grape juice — not to mention that the fabric on the pews is a light color and that the bread and juice is reserved for mom and dad and those boys in the family who have been baptized by immersion (after all, this dad is a Baptist). [Read more…]

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VBS: A MOST EFFECTIVE EVANGELISM

25 percent of baptisms in Tennessee and nationally result from Vacation Bible School

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160310VBS-BKCBRENTWOOD — Vacation Bible School has been around for decades, but it is still one of the most effective evangelism tools in the Southern Baptist Convention, according to two Tennessee Baptist Convention specialists.

“In Tennessee Baptist life we know that approximately 25 percent of our professions of faith come either through VBS or Backyard Kids Clubs,” said Steve Pearson, TBC evangelism specialist. [Read more…]

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