From the testimony of a man dying of cancer to a walk through Psalm 63, the July/August Baptist Bulletin deals with the topic of suffering …
About 36 years after my start in pastoral ministry, while I still know I have room to improve as a preacher, I’ve had time to learn and grow in what remains for me a challenging pastoral task. Here are nine of the leading lessons I’ve picked up along the way.
“Despite 14 years of devastating civil war, the independent Baptist churches in Liberia continue to preach, pray, and plug away,” says Chris Hindal, director of GARBC International Ministries. They deserve our prayers and encouragement.”
Chris and his wife, Deb, saw these ministries firsthand during a 12-day trip in Liberia.
The cell phone rings as Kiyle and Anissa Decker return home to Grace Baptist Church, Eureka, Calif., from a California Association of Regular Baptist Churches retreat in Cambria. A county official asks if the family would take in two foster kids, both girls, a baby and a 5-year-old. “Yes, we’ll take them!” answers Anissa with no hesitation.
Slips of paper rustled slightly as deacons walked slowly around the room, collecting votes. The congregation sat in hushed silence. The measure under consideration involved merging two churches.
Rod Decker was strong enough to finish two books and send them to the printer last winter—strong enough to write the introductions, strong enough to sign them the way he signed the others: Soli Deo Gloria.
In Psalm 63 we find David fleeing from his son Absalom into the wilderness of Judah. David’s dependency on God in the wilderness provides us with a model to follow. He committed himself to three essential pursuits. You and I can commit ourselves to these same pursuits.
How does one pray for someone who appears to be securely in the incurable column, someone whom it does not appear that God is going to heal?
I would be lying if I said the arrival of cancer into our lives had no impact. The news pulled the rug out from under us for a while—especially after two years when we thought the cancer had been treated. Its return at stage 4 was a shock, to put it mildly.