By Randy C. Davis
TBMB President & Executive Director
I was recently talking with Mike Henegar, one of our Tennessee pastors, and he shared with me what God was saying to him through Psalms 71. Naturally, my curiosity was piqued so I reread Psalm 71 as soon as I got home. In the psalm, the Sweet Singer of Zion, as an old man, is asking God to allow him to live long enough to share with the next generation the mighty works of the Lord. I love how the writer puts it. “Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.”
What a powerful plea of the psalmist racing toward the sunset of life. “Lord, please let me tell your story one more time.” I pray that God will keep that same fire burning in me until I breathe my last breath. “Lord, let me proclaim your power to all who come after me.”
It seems pretty obvious, then, that one of my favorite old hymns is, “I Love to Tell the Story.” What sweet truth in these words: “I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.”
Just stop and think about that incredible story, of the Great God of the universe creating man and sharing His goodness with us and responding to our sin by sending His only Son to atone for that sin and grant to us salvation by His grace. I am amazed. How can we not stand with Peter and John and declare, “… we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20)?
That is one of the reasons I love the Baptist and Reflector, our Baptist state newspaper. It can’t stop telling the stories about what God is doing across our state through Tennessee Baptists and Tennessee Baptist churches. Every issue has stories of people coming to Christ and being baptized, of churches being revitalized, and of new churches being birthed. There are stories of how we, as Tennessee Baptists, are partnering together through the Cooperative Program and the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions to serve the spiritual and physical needs of a state that desperately needs to hear the story “of Jesus and His love.”
You may remember some of these that the Baptist and Reflector reported.
There was the story about a Muslim college student from a staunch Islamic country coming to faith through the ministry of your Baptist Collegiate Ministry.
The B&R reported how the gospel was reaching the homeless under the overpasses in Chattanooga and how some were saved, baptized in the Tennessee River and set on the road to discipleship.
I loved the story about tiny Vine Ridge Missionary Baptist Church in Crawford, with its 25 members, feeding hundreds of people weekly, both spiritually and physically. The ministry’s name is “Fishes and Loaves.” Doylene Farley, wife of pastor Ritchie Farley, said they never know how many people will show each week but they don’t worry about it because, “God always provides exactly what is needed.” God is also saving souls through that ministry’s faithfulness.
And if you missed the story about how God is working through volunteers of Swannsylvania and New Market Baptists Churches to save the souls of dozen of boys incarcerated at a juvenile detention facility in Dandridge, you need to track down that story and read it.
The stories of God’s activity in Tennessee are endless. And by the way — every one of these stories I’ve mentioned were supported by your sacrificial giving through the Cooperative Program and GOTM.
However, to stay on top of all the good news about the Good News, you need to subscribe to the Baptist and Reflector. The last Sunday of this month is B&R Day. If you did not order copies of this issue to distribute among your membership, just let editor Lonnie Wilkey know and he will send you free copies of an upcoming issue. You can celebrate our paper anytime.
Keep reading, and please, share your story with us so that we can share it with others.
It is a joy to be on this journey with you.