Thursday, April 26, 2007

Video streaming of BGCM Convention

I shared in my last post that the recent 5th Annual BGCM Convention was outstanding. I thought that some might be interested in some of the messages that were shared at the convention. They are now available on the BGCM website at the following link. I would especially encourage those who have the time and the interest to listen to Molly Marshall's Bible study, and Keith Parks' and Daniel Carro's messages. Those are all found in the Friday evening session link. To save you from having to listen through various reports and music (unless you want to of course), here are the start times for their respect messages in the order listed above--
26:15, 1:11:30, and 2:07:10. You can simply position the slider button on the bottom of the screen if you're using Windows Media Player to those times and listen to their messages.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Convention Update

The recent 5th annual meeting of the BGCM was a wonderful event. The speakers were all outstanding and each did a superb job of relating to the overall theme of this year’s meeting--On Mission: For the Least of These. It was a blessing to get to hear Dr. Keith Parks again and to visit with him for a few minutes following his message. He continues to be one of the finest thinkers of our day in the area of missions. Dr. Molly Marshall shared two very powerful Bible studies with the group. She provoked a lot of laughter when following her introduction as they only female president of a Baptist seminary, she gently corrected her presenter and pointed out that there is a female president of a Baptist seminary in Singapore. She then jokingly remarked, “The world can only stand one per hemisphere.”

I particularly enjoyed hearing from and later visiting with Dr. Daniel Carro from John Leland University. Daniel also is ambassador for the Hispanic work of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. We used to have adjoining offices at the seminary in Buenos Aires and it was a delightful experience to get caught up a bit on each other’s lives. I hadn’t seen him for almost 7 years I guess.

Finally, Carlos Cerna, the executive secretary of the Guatemala Baptist Convention, did an outstanding job during the missions banquet of sharing about the partnership between our conventions. He outlined what had been accomplished to date and encouraged those present to become involved in church-to-church partnerships with the western region where we are focusing our efforts. I was thrilled to have at least 4 additional pastors and staff members to commit to join me for the next training event in Guatemala that will take place July 16-20. I’m still hoping that 3 or 4 more will sign up to participate.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Guatemalan Visitor

The annual meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri takes place this Friday and Saturday at the First Baptist Church of Jefferson City. Information about the annual gathering is available on the BGCM's website. I'm really looking forward to the event for many reasons. It's a great opportunity for the BGCM to tell its story and focus on the exciting ministries in which it is engaged. We have an outstanding line-up of speakers who will be addressing the convention in its worship and Bible study times. I eagerly anticipate hearing Dr. Parks again as well as Dr. Daniel Carro, a former colleague at the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I'll be hosting in these days a visitor from Guatemala as well--the Guatemala Baptist Convention executive secretary, Carlos Cerna. I warned Carlos in an email this morning to bring some warm clothes. Guatemala is called the country of eternal spring and temperatures are usually mild to warm year-round. I checked the forecast for Saturday in Jeff City and snow is predicted. I'm guessing if that happens it will be the first time Carlos has ever seen snow.

If you are looking for some good news out of Missouri in these days of negative news about Missouri Baptists, the 5th annual meeting of the BGCM promises to offer a lot. I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Purpose as it Relates to Aging

One of my major responsibilities as associate pastor of our church is senior adult ministry. I absolutely love our senior adults and we have a lot of them. I ran across an anonymous quote not long ago that I included in my column in our church's newsletter this week. Here is the column and the quote:

There can be no doubt that one of the questions that men and women ask with the greatest frequency is that of ultimate purpose. “What am I here for?” is the cry of many people who are seeking to discover some sense of meaning for their existence. It’s no wonder then that more than 25 million copies of Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life had been sold by 2005. I ran across this piece sometime back that addresses the issue of living with a purpose as it relates to the question of aging. The anonymous author writes:

Nobody grows old by living a number of years.
People grow old from lack of purpose.
Years wrinkle the skin.
Lack of purpose wrinkles the soul.

The best antidote for a “wrinkled soul” consists of welcoming each new day of life that God grants us as an opportunity to serve Him and to serve others in His name. Loving God and loving others is a purpose that will consume a lifetime.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Grace Displayed

Our staff at church received a neat blessing today as we were invited to eat a Filipino lunch prepared by an IMB missionary who has been living in one of our mission residences this past year. She has sensed God’s leadership to leave the Philippines and move to Richmond, VA where she will play a major role in helping MKs prepare for cross-cultural living as they and their parents attend the IMB’s 8-week training course at the International Learning Center. We had a wonderful time visiting with this missionary who grew up in the Kansas City area. She has been pursuing a master’s degree during her stateside assignment, so she wasn’t always able to attend services as often as she would have liked, but in my brief conversations with her I’ve sensed a real sensitivity to the Lord’s leadership in her life. She invited all of the ministers and secretarial staff over for lunch as a way of saying “thank you” for our church providing a mission residence for her needs this past year. The food was delicious and the fellowship was even richer. Our prayers go with her as she relocates and begins her new assignment on May 1st.