Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wealthy Contributors; Neglected Ministries

Every year worthy, and unworthy, organizations receive large gifts from wealthy donors. God bless those donors to the worthy ministries. Many give to great organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, International Mission Board, SBC, and other good ministries.

I was speaking with a friend the other day, and found he and I independently were thinking the same thing. He told of a two million gift to a good cause. But then we thought of other good solid causes that were struggling, and did not receive as much publicity.

Have you got a few million to spare? Looking for a worthy ministry? Looking to endow a ministry?  Want to lay up treasure in Heaven?  Let me tell you of some ministries that could do much good with those kinds of gifts.

The Biblical Evangelist
An old fashioned independent Baptist fundamentalist paper that presents the fundamental or basic Christian doctrines in sermons, illustrations, and Bible studies. They are Premillennial, Pre-Tribulational, and evangelistic. Led by Evangelist R. L. Sumner, former Associate Editor with John R. Rice at the Sword of the Lord. While independent, the Biblical Evangelist has no problem working with conservative Southern Baptists and features their sermons as well. They are a good balance among all the influences swirling in our Christian world today. Many leading conservative preachers have subscribed to this paper for years. They also publish a number of books.

American Council on Addiction and Alcohol Problems (ACAP)
The is the former Anti-Saloon League. They continue to educate and speak out against alcohol and other drug abuse. They work to pass laws to reduce drug abuse. ACAP stands for abstinence from beverage alcohol. We desperately need this kind of ministry in a world awash with drugs, abuse, addiction, and a tendency to legalize even more illicit drugs.

Mission Dignity
This ministry is fulfilling a great need in our day. Many Southern Baptist pastors have faithfully served small churches through their careers, and never made a large salary. They are now retired with very limited finances. Mission Dignity supplements the limited income of retired pastors and their widows. Your gifts can increase their ability to assist these retired soldiers of the cross. This is a ministry of GuideStone Financial Resources.

Connect 316
A Southern Baptist group speaking in favor of Traditionalism in the midst of a rise of Calvinism in the evangelical world. When I was growing up, this view (Traditionalism) was often called either non-Calvinism or Moderate Calvinism. If you believe Jesus Christ died for all of humanity, rather than died only for the elect, you should check out this organization. Connect316 believes Jesus died for all, therefore, whosoever will may come. They also have some great resources.

So, if you have a few million and need a place to give, consider these ministries. They might even accept your gifts of under a million!

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 17, AD 2016.

Articles:
Ancient Wine and the Bible - the Book; update
Wit And Wisdom Of My Dad
Up Fool Hill, by J. B. Gambrell

Other articles in lower right margin.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Saving for Retirement

Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 
-Matthew 25:16
There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it. 
-Proverbs 21:20

Frankie Martin was the treasurer at the first church I pastored. Friendship Baptist Church, Beeville, Texas paid me $600 a month. I also did ranch work on the side. As I recall, Frankie did not ask me or the church, she just started a retirement account for me at GuideStone (then the Annuity Board). $60 a month. She explained a church was supposed to send 10% of the pastor’s salary to his GuideStone Retirement. This did not come out of my salary, but was in addition to it. Frankie is in Heaven today. May God bless her and Friendship for what they did for a young preacher. Since then, I’ve had the next two churches I’ve pastored increase that amount sent to GuideStone.

Assuming God blesses you with a long, happy life, you will one day get old and retire. Serve the Lord and stay busy when you retire. Contrary to a few, there is nothing wrong with retirement. And there is nothing wrong with saving for retirement.

Whatever you think of Social Security, it was never meant to be a full retirement, but a supplement during retirement. You need your own separate retirement fund.

If you are a young preacher, this article is especially important for you. Read every word. Do what I say, and one day you will rise up and call me blessed.

If your job has a 401(k), or whatever kind of retirement plan, give to it. If they match your contributions up to a certain amount, you are foolish not to contribute at least that amount. After all, that is free money; or another way to look at it, you are immediately doubling your money.

Do not take money out of your retirement account, until you retire. Even then, use it very conservatively and wisely.

Usually retirement advisers say if you use 5% of your retirement annually, you will never run out. Start investing now, because that means you will need about 20 times your annual salary. But, if you can’t make that much, still invest as much as you can.

If you are pastor or on staff at a Southern Baptist Church, make sure you have a retirement account with GuideStone Financial Resources, SBC. Some churches, and God bless the ones who do, contribute themselves, apart from the pastor’s salary, to the pastor’s retirement account at GuideStone. If you pastor one of the many churches that do not contribute to their pastor’s retirement, have the church take out 10% of your salary, or more, and send it to your GuideStone Retirement. When you get a raise, put all or some of that raise into your retirement.

One big advantage to having your church send your retirement to GuideStone, is that if you don’t see it, you don’t miss it. This is easier than getting your paycheck, and then having to take 5% or 10% out of it to send to your retirement.

Put your GuideStone Retirement into a good stock market fund that has the potential to significantly grow over time. Something like the Equity Index Fund that generally follows the S&P 500. And remember, some years it will make 10%, some years 1% or worse. But, it will grow over time. Put it in a “safe fund,” and you risk not making significant interest rates; so there is “risk” either way.

This will not make you rich over night, but it will slowly make you financially secure. And think what you can do for the Lord and for others when you are financially secure.

A good rule of thumb is to live on 80% of your income. Give 10% (the tithe) to your church. Put 10% in your retirement. The sooner you start the better. You will be surprised how your retirement will grow over the years.

A good place to start educating yourself about money management is with “The Money Answer Book” by Dave Ransey. I don’t agree with him on every point, but he has some very good basic information. This is also a good birthday or Christmas gift for teenagers and young adults.

GuideStone can give you some great information. Their number is 800/262-0511. Their website is guidestone.org. They even have personal investment accounts, kind of like a bank savings account, where you can invest money in the stock market with them. Of course, it is not federally insured. And, of course, there are other investment companies. I’m just more familiar with GuideStone.

The President and CEO of GuideStone, Dr. O. S. Hawkins, is an outstanding pastor and preacher. Hawkins has published a number of books. Every preacher should get them. His most recent, "The Daniel Code."  It is available wherever books are sold.

Do what I say about investing, and if you end up with too much money in retirement, give me a call.

Objections:
“Jesus is coming soon and I will not need a retirement.”
I believe in the Rapture. I believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ. I also believe the old saying, Live like Jesus is going to return tomorrow; plan and prepare like He will not return for a hundred years.

“There are ministries that need my retirement money now.”
There will also be ministries that need your giving when you retire. If you don’t save, you will have nothing to give. Also, you may want to include good Christian ministries in your Last Will and Testament. Speaking of a Will, make absolutely sure you have the original Will. A copy may not be accepted by a judge. Make sure your heirs know where the original is.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial adviser; I’m just trying to share a little of what I’ve learned. I’m especially trying to help the young preachers. But, don’t sue me if you are unhappy with your investment! Get sound advice from the professionals. Get documentation of your financial dealing, and beware of con men.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 10, AD 2016.

Articles:
The Christian Work Ethic
Quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Baptists on Tithing

More articles in lower right margin.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"Pokemon Go" and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. -Matthew 13:44

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) has long been known for evangelism and missions. Now it may become known for combining Pokemon and evangelism.

From a Baptist Press Article:

Southwestern set off 80 Pokémon "lures" over a two-hour period, drawing roughly 200 people from the community, reflecting Jesus' declaration in Matthew 4:19 that His followers be "fishers of men." Southwesterners engaged the lost with the Gospel and, as a result, six Pokémon players professed faith in Christ.

"Unlike any other time that we have done outreach in either the community or any type of mission trip, this was the rare opportunity where we didn't have to go find people, but they were coming to us," said Joshua Clayton, a master of divinity student who organized the event "to seize the moment and strategically utilize the game for evangelism."

A Gospel tract produced specifically for the event by Southwestern stated, "Hello, Pokémon trainers! You think hunting for Pokémon is exciting? What if you were to find out that you may have just stumbled upon the greatest treasure ever known?"

[SWBTS student Mark] Becker told them about the parable of the treasure in the field from Matthew 13:44 in which a man sold all he had in order to buy a field containing buried treasure, "because what he was getting was so much better."

Becker compared it to trading an entire Pokémon deck for a Magikarp -- a rare Pokémon -- to show that what is lost is nothing compared to what is gained, [Heather] Mentz said. "He told them that [the apostle] Paul said everything was rubbish compared to knowing Christ, and I think they could tell by our excitement and expressions when talking that we meant everything we were saying."

Evangelism instructor Brandon Kiesling, who coordinated Southwestern's evangelism teams, noted, "When there are so many people involved with something like [Pokémon], you can't miss the opportunity to use it for good in some way especially when the people come to us. Why wouldn't you [seize that opportunity]?"

Read the entire story:

http://www.bpnews.net/47281/pokmon-go-party-draws-6-gamers-to-christ

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 2, AD 2016.

See other articles in lower right margin.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Before Rosa Parks There Was Ida B. Wells

Rosa Parks is a famous Civil Rights leader. In 1955 when the white section of the bus was filled, Rosa refused to give up her seat in the colored section for a white person. But 71 years before Rosa Parks, there was Ida B. Wells.

Ida B. Wells (AD 1862-1931) was an African-American born into slavery. She was outspoken in defending the rights of black folks and spoke strongly against lynching. Active in the Republican Party, she lived in Memphis, Tennessee and later in Chicago, Illinois.

On May 4, 1884 Ida Wells had a first-class train ticket. The train conductor ordered her to give up her first-class seat and move to an already crowded smoking car. Wells refused the order. Finally the conductor and two others dragged her out of the car.
Wells hired a lawyer and sued the railroad. She wrote a news article giving wide publicity to her ordeal. Her lawyer was paid off by the railroad, so she hired another. She won her case and was granted $500. Later, however, her win was reversed by the Tennessee Supreme Court and she was ordered to pay court costs. Ida lamented, “Is there no justice in this land for us?”

Ida B. Wells continued her activism. She was a firm believer in the Second Amendment and offered the following advice to oppressed blacks.

“The lesson this teaches and which every Afro-American should ponder well, is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give. When the white man who is always the aggressor knows he runs as great a risk of biting the dust every time his Afro-American victim does, he will have greater respect for Afro-American life. The more the Afro-American yields and cringes and begs, the more he has to do so, the more he is insulted, outraged and lynched.” -Ida B. Wells, Southern Lynch Law in All Its Phases; 1892.

A Winchester rifle may be a good idea for anyone of any race who desires to protect his family.

So, the next time you hear of Rosa Parks, remember 71 years before her, was the Civil Rights leader, Ida B. Wells.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, July 26, AD 2016.

Articles:
Black Lives Matter; All Lives Matter
Gun Control

Other Articles in lower right margin.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Quotes on Liberty, America

And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. -Leviticus 25:10

And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts. -Psalm 119:45

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed. -Luke 4:18

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. -2 Corinthians 3:17

*******

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” -Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, AD 1776.

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” -Last sentence in American Declaration of Independence, 1776.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. -First Amendment to the United States Constitution

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. -Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

“Freedom is not free.” -Colonel Walter Hitchcock

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” -President Ronald Reagan

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” -President Abraham Lincoln

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” -President George Washington

“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free.” -Rosa Parks

“But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.” -Edmund Burke
“If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom.” -President Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.” -Patrick Henry

“Where you have the most armed citizens in America, you have the lowest violent crime rate. Where you have the worst gun control, you have the highest crime rate.” -Ted Nugent

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” -Elmer Davis

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, July 4, AD 2016.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Up Fool Hill, by J. B. Gambrell

J. B. Gambrell
 
“You are fighting the devil for a soul, and you can’t afford to be impatient, or give way to anger, when your fool boy takes an extra flounce.” -J. B. Gambrell.

J. B. Gambrell (AD 1841-1921) was a pastor, editor, seminary professor, and president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Born in South Carolina, he ministered in Georgia, Mississippi and Texas. A veteran of the Civil War, he was a scout for General Robert E. Lee and fought at Gettysburg. During the war he married Mary T. Corbell; they eventually had nine children. He was president of Mercer University. Gambrell was editor of the Mississippi Baptist Record and the Texas Baptist Standard and taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX. James Bruton Gambrell was elected SBC president in 1917.

While a student at East Texas Baptist University, I had the honor of serving as president of the J. B. Gambrell Society, their ministerial organization.

Following is an article written by J. B. Gambrell.


Up Fool Hill

Fool Hill lies just where the undulating lowlands of boyhood rise sharply up to the highlands of manhood. It is climbed only by big boys and the big boy is an institution in this world. He is, indeed, a series of personalities in one extraordinary combination. The only certain thing about him is his uncertainty. Like a spit-devil, he is loaded, and will go off with a spark, but just which way he will go is an unknown and an unknowable thing. But the chances are that he will go zigzag, and whichever way he does go you can trace him by the sparks.

When you notice the boy feeling of his upper lip, and a suspicion of something slightly darker than the skin appears, you may begin then to look sharp. The boy has come to the foot of fool hill, and he will begin very soon to climb. The great problem is to get him up the hill in good repair. That done, you have blessed the world with a man.

Big boys are nearly certain to have the big-head. This is no bad sign. It is an inward sense of power, without the wisdom of discipline. Our boy entering the fool age is a caution. His voice is now fine and splitting, now coarse and grating. He begins a sentence coarse and ends fine, or fine and ends coarse. He is rank and sets digging to the world. All his judgments are pronounced and final. There is nothing he cannot decide instanter. He knows instantly and by intuition who is the greatest lawyer in the whole country, if he is a reading boy, or the best doctor. He can tell you who will be the next governor or anything else politicians are so anxious to know. He is authority on prize-fights, or cards, or anything else he knows nothing about. And when he pronounces on anything he has spoken. The governor is “Dick” somebody, and the supreme judge is “Tom.” And, by the way, he often differs with these and other dignitaries. He sings in unearthly strains, with tendencies to the pathetic and the savage all in a breath.

With the big boy there is nothing medium. He uses adjectives freely and always in the superlative. He sees things in strong colors, for he is in the flood of passion. Fight! Yes, fight anything and on the shortest notice. He ought to fight to prove himself, so he feels. About this time his mind undergoes some radical changes. he wonders at the dullness and contrariness of his parents. It is a constant worry to him that he can’t manage his father without a world of trouble, and he wonders what is the matter with “the old man” anyhow. Churches and Sunday schools are too dull for him, and the preacher is just nowhere. He can give him any number of pointers on theology and preaching.

Rushing on and into everything like mad, he stops short and bewails the coldness of his unfriendly world. Now he has more “dear friends” than he can shake a stick at; now he feels that he has not a friend in the world. He wants sympathy, while he tries the patience of everybody who has anything to do with him.

Such is the boy in the fool age. The great question is, what to do with him. He is climbing “fool hill” now, and the road is bad. Father, mother and friends are all anxious and sometimes vexed. Homes are deprived of all their peace by this great double-action marplot. But the question will not down. What shall we do with him? If he is turned loose now, he will be a wild engine on the track smashing things. If he is not handled wisely there will be a catastrophe. The ever-recurring question is: What shall be done with the big boy climbing fool hill? Often the impulse is to let the fool go. But that will not do. He is now like a green apple - sour, puckerish and unwholesome; but, like the apple, if we can save him, he will ripen into something good. We must save him. Saints and angels, help us to save this this human ship in the storm, freighted with father’s, mother’s, sister’s, brother’s love, and with the infinite wealth of an immortal nature! We must save him for himself, his loved ones and his country.

The chances for saving him will depend mainly on what has been done for him before he struck fool hill. If, from infancy, he has been taught to revere sacred things, if he has been taught subjection to authority, if his mind has been stored with scripture texts, with noble poems, and recollections of the pure, the sweet, the good, you have in him the saving elements. We must never forget that in the final analysis every person saves or loses himself, no matter what influences help or hinder. A well-taught boy may climb this dubious hill without a bobble, but if the new life gains the temporary lead the chances are that the enduring good elements will reassert themselves and become paramount. Hence the transcendent importance of ballasting this ship betimes, before the storm sets in. Noble ambitions early planted and carefully nurtured are of great importance. During this period of trial, great wisdom and tact are needed. There must be a gradual lengthening of the ropes. If you tie this mustang up too tight he will break the rope, and maybe break his neck. It often happens that more can be done by indirection than otherwise. Some good woman, other than the boy’s mother, may be a savior to him.

He feels his great importance, and you must recognize him. It is just here that the churches have failed and the saloons have succeeded. Show this embryonic governor that you recognize his parts and call on him for service. The harder the service the better he will like it. Get in with him, and do not be too critical, but pass his imperfections by. He will be nearly everything, but never mind; he only sees things large and sees them double and mixed, being now partly boy and partly man, and seeing with two sets of eyes.

You are fighting the devil for a soul, and you can’t afford to be impatient, or give way to anger, when your fool boy takes an extra flounce. When he gets on a bad bent, give line, as the fisherman does when there is a hundred-pound tarpon at the other end of the line, but not too much. And remember all the while that time and heaven are on your side. With age comes discretion. Once up fool hill the road stretches away ever smoother and better to the pearly gates.

Our big boy is among us. His folly breaks into dudishness. He is an unturned cake, but likely there is good substance in him. He is worth cooking. If you see him on the street, take him by the hand and say a good word to him. His mother will be glad of it. Look him up and ask him to your house. Reach after his heart, for he has one. Two worlds are interested in that young fool, and underneath his folly there lies sleeping, maybe, a great preacher, teacher or other dignitary of the commonwealth.

-J. B. Gambrell, Parable And Precept, compiled by E. C. Routh, Fleming H. Revell Company; 1917. By the way, I purchased this book at the ETBC (now ETBU) Book Fair, 10-23-1977.

* Marplot - someone who interferes with a project or the plans of others.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 13, AD 2016.

Young Preachers - Finding a Place to Preach; Part 1
Random Advice to Pastors, Part 1
Wit And Wisdom Of My Dad
The Christian Work Ethic
More Articles in lower right margin. 


 




Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Why Abortion Is Wrong

1. Abortion kills a living human being. 

2. All humans are made in the image of God.
3. All human life is sacred and should be treated with respect.

4. Human life is not to be taken without just cause.

5. Abortion coarsens society.
6. Abortion causes great harm to the mother, and often great harm to the father and the doctors and nurses who perform abortions.

Holy Scripture related to abortion 
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. -Genesis 1:27 NKJV 

Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
-Psalm 100:3

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
-Psalm 127:3

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
-Psalm 139:13-16

A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood. -Proverbs 6:17

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
And He who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
-Isaiah 44:24

“Listen, O coastlands, to Me,
And take heed, you peoples from afar!
The LORD has called Me from the womb;
From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.
-Isaiah 49:1

4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
5 “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
-Jeremiah 1:4-5

41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. -Luke 1:41, 44

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. -1 Corinthians 6:19-20

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace. -Galatians 1:15

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 6, AD 2016.

Why Wait?
Adrian Rogers on Alcohol, Drinking, Wine
More articles in lower right margin.