Archive for December, 2012

Four Things Moses & Joshua can teach President Obama about going forward!

by Ron Hale

He has served as Pastor, Church Planter, Strategist (NAMB), Director of Missions, and Associate Executive Director of Evangelism and Church Planting for a State Convention, and now in the 4th quarter of ministry as Minister of Missions.


“Forward” was a great campaign theme Mr. President!  However, I sure hope you know the story of Moses and Joshua and the great adventure called the Exodus!

Moses was called to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt, and into the Promised Land.  The promise of this land was first made to Abraham in Genesis 12:7 and was repeated in (Gen. 13:15, 15:18, and 17:8).

The Book of Exodus describes how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.  It also shares the receiving of the Ten Commandments, their refusal to cross the Jordan River into the land of the giants, and their wilderness wanderings in boondocks of the bible.

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Debt: The Spiritual Side

by Ronnie Rogers

Ronnie Rogers is senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Norman, Okla., a university city cited by the North American Mission Board in 2006 as the most unchurched in the state. Pastor Rogers’ expositional sermons draw large collegiate crowds during the school year as he preaches and teaches (and writes) from a biblical perspective that boldly challenges popular culture.

I do not believe that Scripture teaches that financial debt is necessarily sin or evil. I do believe that it is probable that some choices, and maybe all, that lead to unmanageable debt are sinful, and the end result is that the borrower becomes a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). Our nation is drowning in unmanageable debt, and so are many Americans. Unfortunately, many Christians lose their testimony and joy because they practice the same money management techniques as the rest of America and find themselves in the same financial bondage.

Although extraordinarily popular, it seems to strain credulity beyond imagination to attribute all of the financial woes of our day solely to economic factors or to imagine that Americans simply cannot add and subtract. Additionally, the major cause is not merely spending too much or making too little, all asseverations to the contrary notwithstanding. While there are certainly some people in the bowels of financial bondage or upheaval because of circumstances beyond their control, that does not seem to be the case most of the time.

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Praise the Lord!

By Franklin L. Kirksey, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice.

These expositions by Dr. Kirksey are offered to suggest sermon or Bible study ideas for pastors and other church leaders, both from the exposition and from the illustrative material, or simply for personal devotion.

Psalm 147:1-20



Praise the Lord! Recently, I read, “There was a little old lady who would come out every morning on the steps of her front porch, raise her arms to the sky and shout, ‘Praise the Lord!’

Well, one day an atheist moved into the house next door.  Over time, he became irritated at the little old lady.  So every morning he would step out onto his front porch and yell after her, ‘There is no Lord!’

Time passes with the two of them carrying on this way every day.  Then one morning in the middle of winter, the little old lady stepped onto her front porch and shouted, ‘Praise the Lord!  Lord, I have no food and I am starving.  Please provide for me, oh Lord!’

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The Price of Becoming a Baptist in Early America

by Ron Hale

He has served as Pastor, Church Planter, Strategist (NAMB), Director of Missions, and Associate Executive Director of Evangelism and Church Planting for a State Convention, and now in the 4th quarter of ministry as Minister of Missions.


Henry Dunster (Harvard President, 1640): The Price of Becoming a Baptist in Early America


The first and founding president of Harvard University resigned his prestigious post to become a Baptist.  This caused much chattering and nattering in the circles of academia and religion.

Henry Dunster resigned under pressure after rejecting the practice of paedobaptism (infant baptism).  His new biblical paradigm of Baptist beliefs caused a storm of controversy and ill will among the Puritan faithful of the Boston area.

Today, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in America and the wealthiest of schools.  Yet, the fledgling school struggled for life in the first few years of existence.

Harvard opened its doors in 1637 under the direction of a Head Master.  He was later ousted under charges of failing to properly feed the students and tyrannical ways.  The school closed.

Henry Dunster became president in 1640 and resurrected the founding dream from the ash heap.  The school flourished under his new vision and leadership.

He gave the school one hundred acres of his own land and built a home for the president.  Through his family, he acquired the first printing press in New England and produced the Bay Psalm Book.

The new president was a scholar in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Asian languages. Dunster set standards for scholarship and godliness. Harvard was thriving and becoming the important school that it is today.

After years of faithful service, a dark cloud appeared over the administration of President Dunster.  Dunster refused to have his fourth baby baptized.  Why?  Dunster had new unshakeable biblical convictions!

The public whipping of Obadiah Holmes for his Baptist convictions had shaken Dunster to the core of his being. It caused him to seriously study the bible.

Very soon, Dunster publicly contended for believer’s baptism of adults based on the NT example, and against paedobaptism. Richard Mather and John Norton publicly debated Dunster on these matters, but he remained steadfast in the face of mounting hostility.  Cotton Mather said of Dunster, “he had fallen into the briars of antipedobaptism.”

The theological change of heart in Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard, was shocking and scandalous to the Puritans of New England.  It was the talk of the town and every colony. It knocked the living daylights out of most Puritan ministers and laymen.  Recant or resign seemed to be the sentiment of most.

Because the Baptist movement in early America was birthed in adversity, every individual Baptist paid a price for their identity. Dunster lost his land, house, printing press, and livelihood; for the Overseers of Harvard gave him back none of the things that he had given so freely to the school.

Henry Dunster was a boon and blessing to the early Baptists of America.  A man of great scholarship and integrity had joined their ranks.   The importance of religious liberty would continue to be underscored.

History’s mysteries divulge the good, the bad and the ugly!


© Ron F. Hale, Nov. 7, 2012 -- This article was first published in The Christian Post.







Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever.




Dr. Tom Elliff was born Feb. 21, 1944, in Paris, Texas, and is a third generation Southern Baptist pastor with both his father and grandfather having served as pastors and associational director of missions. Elliff has a D. Min. from Southern Seminary, an M. Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a B.A./Major: from Ouachita Baptist University.

Currently the president of the International Mission Board, Elliff previously served the IMB as senior vice president for Spiritual Nurture/Church Relations. From 1985-2005 he was pastor of  First Southern Baptist Church, Del City, Okla; from 1983-1985 was pastor of Applewood Baptist Church, Lakewood, Colo.; from 1981-1983, was a missionary to Zimbabwe with the (then) Foreign Mission Board. Dr. Elliff served as pastor of churches in Okla., Ark., and Texas. He also served the Southern Baptist Convention is various roles, including: chairman, Southern Baptist Council on Family Life; president, Southern Baptist Convention; president, SBC Pastors' Conference; chairman, SBC Order of Business Committee; member, SBC Committee on Boards. The author of several books, Elliff was a contributor to: MasterLife, The Disciples Study Bible, The Family Worship Bible and various other publications.


This morning I want to address a matter of crucial significance . . . a matter upon which our very future as Southern Baptists rests . . . a matter which will define the scope of our future effectiveness, our usefulness to the Lord.  I want to speak on the importance of “Charting Our Course By The Unchanging Christ.”

My text is the same as the theme text for this convention:  “Jesus Christ the same, yesterday, today and forever.”

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